In the Arena

The Name Game

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Juan Cole says all that needs to be said about Barack Hussein Obama’s lovely name. But, of course, more will be said, most of it garbage and innuendo. My guess is, the only way to confront this incipient, embarrassing know-nothingism is to do exactly what Cole has done here…and to make the name as familiar, and unthreatening, to Americans as Michael Jordan’s is. It would be nice to see the television networks do similar explorations…I dare you, Fox.

Update: Reader Jim, Foolish Literalist is correctly literal when he suggests the challenge should also go to CNN and MSNBC, both of which were covered by the phrase “television networks”–and I’d even take it further, to ESPN, which regularly features athletes with Islamic-sounding names…Perhaps a piece about what those names actually mean. Blessings–yes, a pun–upon all those networks that do.