Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's in a name?

Barack Hussein Obama is our new President Elect's given name.

For years, he struggled with his identity and even called himself Barry for years after his father gave him the moniker. Once he reconciled himself to his heritage, he took the name Barack and used it with pride. It happened in California whilst at Occidental University - you have to read "Dreams from my father" to know the story. When he finally arrived at Columbia University in NYC, he was no longer known as "Barry", but "Barack".

We all have nicknames, given names, pet names, names that we conjure up because we don't particularly care for the names our parents gave us.

There has been some mumbling about Obama's middle name and the fact that he - gasp! - plans to use it for the inauguration ceremony in January. Presidents have always used their full names - Barack's middle name comes from his grandfather. Barack is proud of his heritage and we should be proud that for once, we don't have to check a box and figure out his parentage, ethnicity or heritage - he wears it on his sleeve, proudly for us all to see.

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