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America's Funniest
(& Smartest) Arab

Why I’m Voting for Barack Obama
Amer Zahr
by Amer Zahr
November 5th, 2012 (10 Comments)
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Four years ago, I voted for Barack Obama.  And I’m doing it again tomorrow.  Why?  Well, first of all, he’s black and Mitt Romney is white.  You might ask, “What does that mean?”  Good question.  Well, black Americans know more about discrimination, struggle, and the nuances of living in this country.  Really rich white guys like Mitt Romney, although they are usually very nice people, just don’t know what it’s like to be a victim of prejudice.  They why they think it’s OK to say things like “binders full of women.”  And that’s why they can’t represent me.

Also, if you watched the second debate, where Obama and Romney walked around a lot, you learned that Obama struts, and Romney waddles.  I’ll take the strutting president.

Oh, and my favorite show when I was growing up was “The Cosby Show.”  So as far I’m concerned, middle-aged black men have a sense of humor, undeniable rhythm, love jazz, are well educated, and are extremely kind-hearted, loving fathers.  Also, they secretly eat junk food whenever they have the opportunity.  If that does not sound like a president, I don’t know what does.

Of course, I and many other Arab-Americans who voted for him in 2008 ended up a little disappointed.  As it turns out, Barack Obama is not secretly a Muslim.  Bummer.

But as I look around, the reasons to stick with him scream at me from every corner.

Since Barack Obama got elected, the number of hate crimes against Muslims and Arab-Americans has increased dramatically.  This summer, in a span of eleven days, seven Islamic houses of worship were defaced from Illinois to Rhode Island to Missouri, where a mosque was burnt to the ground.  In Wisconsin, a white supremacist killed six worshippers at a Sikh temple, most likely because he thought they were Muslims.

This kind of stuff didn’t happen when George W Bush was around.  In other words, before Barack Obama became president, white supremacists and Muslim-haters thought everything was going just fine.  So I’m voting to stick with Barack.

Since 2008, many politicians and commentators (almost exclusively on the right) are freely displaying their Islamophobia.  Michelle Bachmann tried to brand Hillary Clinton’s top aide as a traitorous spy simply because she is a Muslim.  Herman Cain said he would not appoint any Muslims if elected president.  Xenophobic congressmen like Allen West and Peter King are being championed by the Republican Party.  Right-leaning organizations are running subway advertisements equating Islam with savagery.

This kind of stuff didn’t happen when George W Bush was around.  Before Obama came to town, the right-wing Islamophobes thought everything was going just fine.  So I’m voting to stick with Barack.

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he was attacked for having a “Palestinian friend.”  Last year, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Palestinian culture was infused with “resentment and hatred.”  Newt Gingrich called the Palestinians “invented.”  And he didn’t mean a good invention like the seatbelt… he meant a bad invention like Farmville.  Settler violence against Palestinians is on the rise, and hate crimes by Jews against Arabs in Israel are occurring lately at an alarming rate.  Mitt Romney, during a fundraising trip to Israel, said that Palestinians are living in poverty because “culture makes all the difference.”  He has raised a record amount from Jews living in Israel, all while garnering the implicit support of Benjamin Netanyahu.  And Netanyahu, by the way, seems to be losing his mind, going to the United Nations and holding up a drawing of a circle with a line coming out of it.  “This is a bomb.  This is a fuse.”

This kind of stuff didn’t happen when George W Bush was around.  Before Barack took over, right-wing American supporters of Israel and right-wing Israeli prime ministers thought everything was going just fine. So I’m voting to stick with Barack.

Last week, a poll conducted in Israel found that 80,000 American citizens living there voted absentee in this presidential election.  Of the 80,000, 85% voted for Mitt Romney.  So, just in case I needed another reason, I’m voting for Mr. Obama.

Barack, you don’t always make me happy.  But as long as white supremacists, right-wing Islamophobes, and Benjamin Netanyahu think you’re leading America straight into disaster, you’re the guy for me.

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* Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American comedian, writer, professor and speaker living in Dearborn, Michigan. He is also the editor of "The Civil Arab."

Comments (10)
  1. khaled khalefe ... November 5th, 2012 - 15:44

    (a poll conducted in Israel found that 80,000 American citizens living there voted absentee in this presidential election. Of the 80,000, 85% voted for Mitt Romney. So, just in case I needed another reason, I’m voting for Mr. Obama.)

    O.K Amer,it’s great the problem with Obama is that although he will not get any support from the Israeli and their allies in the US on this election ,he will keep supporting Israel strongly and excessively on his second term.

  2. Thanks, Amer! Very funny!

  3. Thanks Amer this is great.

  4. Steve Naidamast ... November 5th, 2012 - 16:11

    I cannot stand either one of these clowns. We have a presidential race of “Dumb” and “Dumber”. However, if the “Funniest Arab in the United States” can hold his nose and vote for Barak Obama, maybe I can too… if I have the stomach…

  5. Halyna Didycka ... November 5th, 2012 - 17:08

    I am voting for Barack Obama because he is white (ha, ha!) and because of his upbringing under difficult circumstances. He understands the struggles of a woman raising a child without a father, including not having health insurance while suffering from cancer. His loving white grandparents gave him a comfortable home where he was taught to strive for the highest achievements, to respect education and hard work, to fully understand the discrimination against a skin colour. I also applaud his first hand experience of other cultures during his stay in Indonesia and visit to Kenya and other faroff lands. He is a multicultural phenomenon, born of a Kenyan father of the Luo tribe, whose own father was a Roman Catholic who converted to Islam. Barack Obama Sr. later converted from Islam to Anglicanism, changing the spelling of his name from Baraka to an Anglicised Barack. I love his Arabic names, Barack (blessed) and Hussein (good, handsome). However, I hate all USA presidents with a passion because of their cowardly submission to Israel. I would not vote at all for that reason. On the other hand, I do not want a president who is a Bishop of a cult that believes, among many other grotesqueries, that every Mormon man after death gets to live on his own planet with a bevy of sister wives, spending eternity impregnating his ladies. That makes the 72 virgins story sound much more enticing in comparison.

  6. Dear Amer,

    Reasons why NOT to vote for obama:

    “Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided capital”
    “Israel is our closest ally, a true friend” — he said this during the debate.
    He kept quiet when gazans were bombed into oblivion.
    He then rewarded Israel with the largest military aid in it’s history.
    Look at his record, not his skin color or what rednecks think of him.
    He vetoed the state of palestine.
    He made israeli military stronger.
    He did not force Israel to stop illegal colonization of arab east jerusalem.

    Ill bet you 100 bucks four years from now there will be more settlements, more dead palestinians, and more vetoes against the state of palestine if either major party candidate wins.

    Dont vote for another AIPAC ass kisser.

    sincerely yours,

    a balestinian brother.

  7. Amer, did Latuff draw the cartoon of you on your website? It’s very accurate! :)

  8. Great article, Thanks it is always so funny!!!

  9. Ali Abunimah’s tweets on Obama:

    – Obama pushed military aid to Israel to new records; shielded Israel at UN; went totally silent on settlements; recognized Israel as “Jewish”

    – Obama has imposed vindictive sanctions on Iran, largely at Israel’s behest and abandoned any pretense of “peace process.”

    – Obama decided early on that he would not be outbid by the Republicans in pandering to Israel.

    – Even though Obama served them faithfully in practice, Israel lobby leaders and major Zionists bet on Romney and lost.

  10. Jawaad Mitchell ... November 7th, 2012 - 17:10

    I voted libertarian. I knew it wouldn’t result in a victory but I am sick of the 2 party “democracy” we live in. Other parties need some poling volume in order to get any type of recognition moving forward.
    Not to mention, Gary Johnson was fully supportive of Colorado’s recreational use proposition…


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