New York Magazine asks the question: “is this sock monkey racist?”
The sock monkey in question is produced by TheSockObama.com, who claims that the toy is just the result of a “casual and affectionate observation one night, and a charming association between a candidate and a toy we had when we were little.”
But some New York readers are not amused, with some commentors suggesting that the attorney general of Utah, the state where the sock monkeys are produced, should be notified. Another reader comments:
“As an African-American boomer, I have to give them an “A” for cleverness and cunning. During (legalized) Segregation in the South, when I visited Mobile, AL during the Summers — I went through the looking glass and experienced a world filled with nuance, double entrendre and African-Americans having to pretend demeaning imagery was funny. In other words, we had to be “in” on the joke or there was something wrong with us.”
But, other readers disagree, saying that this is “much ado about nothing”:
“The SockObama happens to look very cute. It is just your usual sock monkey with an Obama haircut and a suit. It does in fact look a bit like Obama, and Obama does in fact look rather like a sock monkey. What is your problem? Get over it!”
What’s your opinion? Do you think the Obama Sock Monkey is racist?
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.
Artist Ron English’s interpretation of a mix between presidential candidate Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln:
(via The World’s Best Ever)