You may find it hard to believe that this remains an issue in this campaign, but it does.
The candidates, both candidates, are still getting questions about Barack Obama's ethnicity and religion. If you are even semi-informed, then by now you already know that of course, Barack Obama is an American.
Of course, Barack Obama is a Christian. Yet just a few days ago, there was a woman at a rally for John McCain incorrectly calling Obama an Arab:
Woman at rally: I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab.
Sen. John McCain: No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about. He's not, thank you.
Now, I commend Sen. McCain for correcting that woman, for setting the record straight. But I do have one question -- so what if he was?
So what if Obama was Arab or Muslim? So what if John McCain was Arab or Muslim? Would it matter?
When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?
Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there is something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too.
We've all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.
There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life.
These are the people being maligned here, and we can only imagine how this conversation plays in the Muslim world. We can't tolerate this ignorance -- not in the media, not on the campaign trail.
Of course, he's not an Arab. Of course, he's not a Muslim. But honestly, it shouldn't matter.