City of Brass

City of Brass

Obama Derangement Syndrome

Every presidential candidate comes in for their share of partisan bile from their opponents’ more rabid supporters. The generic term for this is X Derangement Syndrome (example, BDS for Bush, etc) and to some extent it is a manifestation of the political passion that drives the system. It’s surely better than outright, pervasive voter apathy.

However, what’s disturbing about the bile directed at Barack Obama (ODS) is the racial and religious subtext, which was absent for obvious reasons from those afflicted by CDS and BDS. I’ve compiled a list of crazy accusations against Obama elsewhere, but two examples stand out for their common theme.


First, the case of Obama Waffles:

Activists at a conservative political forum snapped up boxes of waffle mix depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a racial stereotype on its front and wearing Arab-like headdress on its top flap.

Republican Party stalwarts Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were among speakers at the forum, which officials said drew 2,100 activists from 44 states.


While Obama Waffles takes aim at Obama’s politics by poking fun at
his public remarks and positions on issues, it also plays off the old
image of the pancake-mix icon Aunt Jemima,
which has been widely criticized as a demeaning stereotype. Obama is
portrayed with popping eyes and big, thick lips as he stares at a plate
of waffles and smiles broadly.

Placing Obama in Arab-like headdress recalls the false rumor that he is a follower of Islam, though he is actually a Christian.

On the back of the box, Obama is depicted in stereotypical Mexican
dress, including a sombrero, above a recipe for “Open Border Fiesta
Waffles” that says it can serve “4 or more illegal aliens.” The recipe
includes a tip: “While waiting for these zesty treats to invade your
home, why not learn a foreign language?”


The novelty item also takes shots at 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry, Obama’s wife, Michelle, and Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

The Obama campaign declined to comment.

Wearing white chef’s aprons, Whitlock and DeMoss were doing a brisk
business at noon Saturday selling the waffle mix to people crowded
around their booth. Two pyramids of waffle mix boxes stood several feet
high on the booth’s table.

Then, the Obama billboard:


A billboard in West Plains showing a caricature of Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama wearing a turban and using his
middle name — Hussein — in quotes has sparked outrage and accusations
of racism.

The sign, located south of West Plains on U.S. 63
across from the Dairy Queen, says: “Barack ‘Hussein’ Obama equals more
abortions, same sex marriages, taxes, gun regulations.”

over the sign triggered West Plains resident Becky Estes to write a
letter in Monday’s edition of the Daily Quill newspaper saying “such a
tasteless display merely reinforces the wide-spread belief that
Ozarkers are ignorant country bumpkins.”


“People don’t like it.
They’re embarrassed by that sign, ashamed by that sign, horrified by
that sign and outraged by that sign,” Estes told the News-Leader on

Estes’ letter sparked responses from locals and
out-of-state former residents in Wednesday’s newspaper. The person who
created the sign remains anonymous.

“I can find nothing wrong
with this sign/cartoon, which is truthful by Obama’s own statements,”
wrote James E. (Jay) Gentry Jr. of Mountain Grove. “If this is
upsetting to Ms. Estes, then she should do some hard thinking about
what is forthcoming if he is elected.”


And of course there’s this poor soul protesting Obama yesterday in Ohio:

The theme here is the same old muslim smear – Obama = muslim = Arab = turbans = threat. Even John McCain, in correcting a supporter who insisted Obama was Arab at a campaign rally, implicitly validated the idea that Arabs and muslims are inherently suspect.

But really, most of the blame for this lies with Barack Obama himself. I argued early on during the primary that Obama could lay the muslim smear to rest by simply saying “I am not a muslim… but so what if I were?” Many in the media are now saying the same thing, but the words need to come from Obama himself, and that’s why the muslim smear persists.

  • Richard Clark

    This is sick. I can’t wait until Obama wins in November and all these fascists can take a hike! I’ve already voted for Barack by absentee ballot. McCain’s VP, Sarah Palin, is the real radical extremist in this presidential race!

  • hootie1fan

    A bigot who claims to be insprired by God, by Jesus, is still a bigot and deserving of derision and prayers by trult good Chrsitians everywhere.

  • Phyl&Sun

    In the article above it says….
    But really, most of the blame for this lies with Barack Obama himself. I argued early on during the primary that Obama could lay the muslim smear to rest by simply saying “I am not a muslim… but so what if I were?” Many in the media are now saying the same thing, but the words need to come from Obama himself, and that’s why the muslim smear persists.
    I say…PLEASE READ THIS…You don’t really make much of a point?
    The Illinois Senator was interviewed by phone on Monday by Beliefnet politics editor Dan Gilgoff. Senator Obama said “And I’ve been a member of my church now for almost 20 years and have never been a person of the Muslim faith.

  • Matt J.

    I agree that Obama should have said, “I am not a Muslim” earlier in the campaign, but why, oh why, would you want him to weaken the effect with the unfortunate appendage, “so what if I were”?
    Unless, of course, you are secretly supporting McCain, and -want- reactionary voters to be afraid of Obama, voting for McCain instead.

  • Patricia Muhammad

    This is to say that Obama has already addressed this issue by stating that although he is not a muslim, to portray muslims as if there’s something wrong with it is an insult.
    Although we know where all the negative thinking comes from.
    And I too wonder if the writer of this article is a McCain supporter wanting to gain votes for him.
    If you follow McCain’s candidacy, you will find enough hate mongers, so why go there when we are supposed to represent the best of peoples enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong?
    Lastly, why not try and recognize that this is a universal man, and not someone trying to divide people, regardless of their faith?

  • Dawn

    A major element of irony, that I have not seen addressed directly in the media, is that the very types that make these signs, billboards, and accusations of Obama being a Muslim (from a radical Church no less, go figure) – those types are the ones who helped elect Obama during the democratic primary. Remember Rush Linbaugh and “Operation Chaos?” “Crossover voting?” Once McCain was the presumptive Republican nominee, Republicans in the states with primaries still be to held, registered as Democrats and voted for Obama because they thought he would be easier to beat than Hillary Clinton in the general elections. So ha! They have made their own worst nightmare are reality (or are at least close to it).
    And we know the reason why no one is asking “So what if he is Muslim.” Because being Muslim is worse than being anything else in the eyes of the conservative Evangelicals. To be Muslim is to be associated with the anti-christ in their minds. The right wingers are the ones who are perfectly comfortable dropping bombs on the muslim world and in fact, if Christians United for Isreal (CUFI) had its way, a lot more bombs would be dropped on them.

  • MYMuslim

    I understand the author’s politically strategic as well as morally correct point, because I made it myself months ago. If Obama had stood up for Muslims and Arabs from the beginning, then the “Mulsim” and “terrorist sympathizer” card would have been dealt with over the course of the campaign and squashed as the vicious rumor it is. This lie would have been old news from months ago instead of a possibly threatening October surprise attack by McCain supporters.
    Besides, most Americans don’t buy the guilt by association of Muslims and Arabs to terrorists anymore. Americans have watched and learned the truth the hard way as the Bush administration and Republicans continuously used this lie as their justification for their own lies and arrogance of power to attack Iraq. We all know what a costly mistake the illegal Iraq War was for our country in far too many ways to comprehend (i.e., thousands of lost and crippled lives, millions of refugees, severe economic burden, “cowboy” reputation as a cavalier violator of human rights, the environmental degradation from war, etc.)

  • Richard

    As far as I am concerned the only people who have derangement syndrome, are those foolish enough to vote for a clearly socialist candidate for president. As far as Obamas judgement goes, anyone who would attend a church for 15 years and listen to a preacher who hates America, G.Damns America, and believes it was Americans fault when they were murdered in the WTC, does not belong in the white house. He would fit in better in Hugo Chavez cabinet.

  • Scarlett

    I don’t care if Obama is a Muslim or if he’s African American, or if he’s of mixed heritage. I care more that he sat in Trinity Church twice a month for twenty years and didn’t realize that Reverend Wright was spewing anti-American rhetoric. I care that he thought of Bill Ayers as ONLY a respected professor. I care that he sat at Arab fundraisers with Kalidi and Edward Said and didn’t realize that they were anti-Semitic. Obama sounds like he’s not too swift in the head. I find that scary. It’s not even his judgment, it’s not like he’s saying I knew these were questionable guys but I hung with them anyway, he’s saying he didn’t know these guys had these opinions. He must have tunnel vision and only associated with people in order to move himself up the political ladder with these associations, I can’t imagine why else.
    And the other reason I can’t vote for him is this idea of taxing upper middle-class and giving hand-outs to people who didn’t work for that money. We are not talking about super wealthy people, we are talking about the upper middle-class even though Obama wants us to think of them as wealthy. Making $250,000.00 is a dream our family has, but we would not consider ourselves wealthy if we ever got there, I think we’d be more than comfortable, but I wouldn’t consider us wealthy and I don’t consider my fellow Americans making that wealthy by any means. Go after the super wealthy who hide their money!
    I’m sticking with eight more years of Bush, it’s the safe bet. The devil you know is much better than the devil you don’t know (and he makes it impossible to find anything out about him either [school records sealed, birth records sealed]).

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