Some supporters of Barack Obama are taking on his middle name as their own to show their support, the New York Times reports.
You might recall that Obama’s middle name, Hussein, has stirred up some controversy by people who want to falsely assert that he is Muslim — or, in extreme cases, that he is some how “related” to Saddam Hussein, et. (this is also done with his first name, twinning it with “Osama”):
Mr. Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim. Hussein is a family name inherited from a Kenyan father he barely knew, who was born a Muslim and died an atheist. But the name has become a political liability. Some critics on cable television talk shows dwell on it, while others, on blogs or in e-mail messages, use it to falsely assert that Mr. Obama is a Muslim or, more fantastically, a terrorist
But, now there is a movement — albeit a small one — to symbolically assume Obama’s middle name to show that they are not “afraid” and to show their support.
Some wear buttons, others reconfigure their e-mail or Facebook names to reflect the change. For example, the NYT article mentions the example of Obama supporter Emily Nordling, who has changed her name on Facebook to read, “Emily Hussein Nordling.”
Still, it would be great if family names weren’t an issue at all in a campaign for president.