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Published:March 1st, 2008 06:11 EST
Only Bigots Refer To Obama as 'Barack Hussein Obama'

Only Bigots Refer To Obama as 'Barack Hussein Obama'

By Robert Paul Reyes

As a writer I always use my full name, "Robert Paul Reyes", it's necessary to distinguish myself from the thousands of Hispanics who share my first and last names.

When I Google "Robert Reyes" I get 17 thousand hits, but when I do a search of "Robert Paul Reyes" I get 11,000 hits -- every single one of which refers to me.

Sen. Barack Obama never uses his middle name (Hussein); there is no need for him to distinguish himself from any other Barack Obama. Is there any other Barack Obama in the whole country?

People of all political persuasions commonly refer to the senator from Illinois as "Barack Obama"; its common practice to refer to a person as he wishes to be called.

There are a few rightwing talk show hosts who have a penchant for referring to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama." This is not a curious but harmless affectation; it's a blatant attempt to portray Obama as a radical Muslim.

Obama is a Christian; he has been heavily involved with a Christian church in Chicago way before he entered politics.

Anybody who uses Obama's middle name is appealing to the lowest common denominator: Stirring up anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments.

Conservative radio talk show host, Bill Cunningham, recently warmed up a crowd who came to hear Sen. John McCain by repeatedly saying "Barack Hussein Obama." McCain repudiated Cunningham for appealing to the worst instincts of Americans.

We should immediately condemn anyone who injects racism or any kind of intolerance into the presidential campaign.