There is e-mail circulating that is hateful toward Senator Barack Obama. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not a member of Team Obama, but I received an e-mail this week with a seemingly harmless picture of him that was negatively interpreted by the sender. It appears that it is being forwarded into infinity.
I prepared this for posting last night, but decided to wait until tonight. Just before I was ready to post, I saw an article about this picture and the accompanying e-mail. According to Senator Obama the picture was taken in September during Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual Democratic fundraiser, and Obama says the national anthem was playing.
The e-mail included the above picture. Obama is the only one who does not have his hand over his heart. The text under it indicated that Obama refused to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag at a political rally.
I hasten to state that putting ones hand over ones heart is not mandatory while the National Anthem is playing, nor for the Pledge. Putting ones hand over ones heart under those circumstances is a voluntary sign of respect. The last time I checked there are no "hand over heart" police in the U.S.A.
In the same e-mail, the sender immediately pointed out that, " . . . his full name is Barack Hussein Obama. Yes, Hussein." By associating Obama with that bad guy Saddam Hussein who used to live in Iraq, it implied that Obama is evil, although Obama was named for his father. Hence, the Jr., but the person so quick to misjudge him didn't know that.
The name Hussein is Arabic, it means good, small, handsome. Hussein is usually associated with a prominent person in Islam and can denote royalty in Jordan. Saddam Hussein was a prominent person in Islam and handsome when he was young, but he was neither small nor good. So much for the meaning of names.
Deriders also love to point out that Barack Obama's name sounds like Osama, as in Bin Laden, too. Making associations such as these name associations is a propaganda technique called "inference by association."
More about the picture. In today's world where digital photography is growing ever more sophisticated, anyone can manufacture a picture about anything. A picture may have been worth a thousand words years ago, but today a picture is not always what it seems to be.
Today, anyone can literally "make" a picture out of anything without ever "taking" a picture. It's called "photo schlocking". I considered that this picture might be photo schlock, but the senator says it is genuine.
Remember the picture of O.J. Simpson as the third Beltway sniper that flew around the Web? There are photo schlocks of Obama. One shows him with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. The original black and white picture was made before Obama was born. Here is an example of a photo schlock someone made using Senator Obama:
Please, never believe any e-mail that someone forwards to you, especially if it comes from someone you do not know. If you receive e-mail that goes down the slippery slope towards ignorance, misinformation and possibly hatred, please analyze it carefully before reacting to it, and especially before forwarding it to someone else.
I definitely analyze such e-mail. Then, I fire right back to the person (sometimes everyone that forwarded the junk), dispute the accusations in the e-mail, and tell them that I do not wish to receive such junk, derogatory and/or hate mail. I do that even when I know the person who sent it to me. It's amazing how much less e-mail I now receive. Halleluiah!