Friday, November 30, 2007
Question: If the congregation became crowded in the masjid, then is it permissible for some of them to pray (immediately) to the right of the imaam and his left. And is the one who prays (immediately) to the right of the imaam regarded as having attained the reward for praying in the first row?
Response: If the congregation became crowded in the masjid, then there is no harm in praying (immediately) to the right of the imaam or to his left, or to the right of him only, and those who do so are not regarded as (being in) the first row, because the first row is the first row behind the imaam.
Shaykh Ibn 'Uthaymeen
Majmoo' Fataawa wa Rasaa.il Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen - Volume 13, Fatwa No.418
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Concerning the propagation of the recent "Pledge of Mutual Respect and Co-operation" that was signed by a number of callers of diverse theological backgrounds and students from the West, we thought it befitting that it be presented to some of the Scholars so that they may clarify the legislated stance towards such a pledge, and that the view point of the people of knowledge could be shared with the Muslim minorities in the West. We also present the translated copy of the pledge for those who would like to ascertain what is being presented to the people of knowledge and that no additions or subtractions were made that may affect their responses. Any issues that may arise concerning the accuracy of the translation can be sent to:
...and we will make the necessary changes, inshaa.-Allaah, if such changes affect the meanings of what is being presented.
The first Scholar approached concerning the pledge was Shaykh `Alee Naasir Faqeehee (a lecturer at al-Masjid an-Nabawee and the Islaamic University of Madeenah, and Head of the Department of Knowledge Related Affairs at the King Fahd Qur.aan Printing Complex) on the 22nd of Ramadhaan 1428. We will continue to share the views of the people of knowledge concerning this pledge as we present it to them, and add their comments to this document with the permission of Allaah the Exalted.
The Shaykh, may Allaah preserve him, mentioned a number of points which are worthy of reflecting upon - for all:
After reading it, the Shaykh began by stating that: "This is not the first, second, tenth or even hundredth time that an attempt such as this has been made. For a long time efforts have been made in order to produce such a formula, the only thing that differs is the method and the wordings. It should be known that achieving the objectives of such a pledge is impossible; it is like shooting a stray bullet that will never reach its target. How can (a pledge such as) this be possible, bringing together people of different theological backgrounds that are contradictory to each other?!"
The Shaykh described the basis for such a pledge as proceeding from the principle of "let us co-operate amongst ourselves in the issues that we agree upon, and excuse one another in the issues that we disagree upon".
In support of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, the Shaykh iterated: "Just because some of the co-signers (of "The Pledge") are graduates from the Islaamic University (of Madeenah) does not mean that the methodology of the University is at fault. Rather, the methodology of the University is correct, however, the University cannot guarantee that all the students who graduate from it are or will remain upon the same methodology".
In reference to the claim that "The Pledge" is specific to issues pertaining to the West, the Shaykh vehemently rejected this by saying: "Their claim that this is a Western issue and that Major Scholars elsewhere do not need to be involved: We say to them that the same Islaam you have over there in the West is the same Islaam we have here. What is false and contradictory to Islaam over here is also false and contradictory to Islaam over there. Islaam is suitable for all times and places".
The Shaykh advised that the pledge be taken to other scholars so that the legislated stance towards the falsehood that it consists of can be further elaborated on. Until that time, we would like to share the comments of Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen concerning the error of those who include other groups such as the Ashaai`rah and Maturidiyyah in the circle of Ahlus Sunnah, as occurs in the Shaykh`s Majmoo` al-Fataawa:
"Therefore they are united upon the Sunnah, they are Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah. It is understood from the author`s words that those who disagree with them in their methodology are not included with them. So the Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah for example are not considered to be from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah because they are in opposition to what the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and his companions were upon in terms of understanding and implementing the Attributes of Allaah the Elevated with their apparent meanings.
Therefore, those who claim that Ahlus Sunnah are comprised of three groups; Salafiyoon, Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah, are erroneous. We say; how can all of them be from Ahlus Sunnah while they contradict each other? Is there anything after the truth except falsehood?! How could all of them be Ahlus Sunnah while each one refutes the other? This is impossible, it could only be possible if two opposites can be combined, if so then yes this would be possible.
There is no doubt that only one of these groups alone are the Sunnis, so which one is it; the Ashaa`irah, Maturidiyyah or Salafiyyah? We say that whoever is in accord with the Sunnah is the Sunni (adherer to the Sunnah) and whoever is in opposition to the Sunnah is not a Sunni. We say that the Salaf, they are the ones who adhered to the Sunnah and they are the Jamaa`ah, and this label cannot be attributed to other than them. Never!
Words are according to their meanings, so let`s look and see, how could we label those who oppose the Sunnah `Ahlus Sunnah` [or Sunnis for short]?! It is impossible, and how can we claim that three groups that differ with each other are united? Where is the unity?!
Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah are those who follow the Salaf in their `Aqeedah, including individuals from the latter [generations] until the Day of Resurrection. If an individual is upon the way of the Prophet,صلى الله عليه وسلم, and his companions, then indeed he is a Salafee."
Madeenah.Com Administration,- revised and approved by:
Abu Abdul Waahid Nadir Ahmad
 The term used by the Shaykh was "Aqeedah" which is translated into creed, but being that the term "theology" was used for creed in the pledge, it was retained for consistency.
 Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
 As an added benefit, Ibn `Uthaymeen states in his explanation of al-`Aqeedah as-Safariniyyah:
“Who are Ahlul Athar? They are the people who adhered to the narrations, they adhered to the Book and the Sunnah and the statements of the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. This label cannot be applied upon any group or sect except the Salafees, those who adhere to the methodology of the Salaf.”
Authored by : Madeenah.Com Administration
Date Published: Wednesday, 24 October 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Old Salafi Movement
How many grave yards have been established by the Salafi movement in the US?
How many medical clinics established by Salafis in the US?
How many salafi relief organizations in the US?
Any ’salafi’ soup kitchens or food banks in the US of note?
What have this movement really done?
While they failed to established any of the above mentioned items in the height of their movement, I think that we can thank the 1990’s Salafi Movement for bringing a heightened awareness of matters of aqeedah -which is a good thing. However their mistake was to declare that work in others areas was somehow ‘blameworthy’ and this is one factor that led to the movement’s decline. I found it to be totally asinine for brothers from crime and drug infested neighborhoods to be debating the merits (or lack thereof) of this and that ruler from Muslim countries, while their families and neighborhoods were completely ignored all in the name of righteousness.
There are many groups of Muslims that have done much good, but at the same time we must have the correct aqeedah. This is the balanced way. We do not have to belong to a small clique of brothers that attend the same conferences with the same telelinks and the same speakers. I hope that moving past this gang-like type of thinking.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
This post may or may not appeal to any non-Muslim readers I have, so if you feel you want to skip on by, my feelings will remain in tact.
Old "Sesame Street" Episodes Are Not Suitable for Today's Kids
Here is an interesting article that was in the New York Times last week. It raises some points about how Sesame Street is not suitable for todays children. I don't know about you but I don't seem anything wrong with me watching this with my 3 years old son Ishaq. I mean the stuff he watches give off some of a bad message than Oscar the Grouch smoking on some pipe. I might just go and and buy this DVD, so I can enjoy it with my family. These old episodes have a true sense of "realness" to them. The show was originally made for inner-city kids. That mean it was design to teach Latino and African-American kids. I can still remember watching "Sesame Street" and then "Mister Rogers" back when I was about 2 or 3 years old and living on Morris Avenue in the Bronx. That was before my mother enrolled me into nursery school at "The Twig is Bent" on Webster Avenue.
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Sweeping the Clouds Away
By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN
Published: November 18, 2007
Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.
Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”
Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.
Nothing in the children’s entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but . . . well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.
Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time. Elsewhere, two brothers risk concussion while whaling on each other with allergenic feather pillows. Overweight layabouts, lacking touch-screen iPods and headphones, jockey for airtime with their deafening transistor radios. And one of those radios plays a late-’60s news report — something about a “senior American official” and “two billion in credit over the next five years” — that conjures a bleak economic climate, with war debt and stagflation in the offing.
The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.
I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of “Sesame Street,” how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody “Monsterpiece Theater.” Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, “That modeled the wrong behavior” — smoking, eating pipes — “so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.”
Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.
Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.
The biggest surprise of the early episodes is the rural — agrarian, even — sequences. Episode 1 spends a stoned time warp in the company of backlighted cows, while they mill around and chew cud. This pastoral scene rolls to an industrial voiceover explaining dairy farms, and the sleepy chords of Joe Raposo’s aimless masterpiece, “Hey Cow, I See You Now.” Chewing the grass so green/Making the milk/Waiting for milking time/Waiting for giving time/Mmmmm.
Oh, what’s that? Right, the trance of early “Sesame Street” and its country-time sequences. In spite of the show’s devotion to its “target child,” the “4-year-old inner-city black youngster” (as The New York Times explained in 1979), the first episodes join kids cavorting in amber waves of grain — black children, mostly, who must be pressed into service as the face of America’s farms uniquely on “Sesame Street.”
For adventures in digital culture, don't miss The Medium, a blog by Virginia Heffernan.
You are invited to the second meeting of the ad-hoc committee to help the Morales Shakur Center on Tuesday, Nov. 20th at 6:30 PM at the Community Center in room NAC 3/201 at City College. The main student activists who have kept the Community Center running have either graduated or are about to graduate. The main issue facing the Community Center is to insure that there is a core group of City College students committed to carrying on the work of the Morales/Shakur Center next year.
There is also a need for community members and groups to come forward with commitments to help the Center in terms of staffing, resources, programs, recruiting and outreach.
You are receiving this e-mail because you are one of the people who have supported the Community Center or participated in the work of the Community Center in the recent past. Many of you came forward when the Morales/Shakur Center was under attack last year and in previous years. Now the Morales/Shakur Center is facing a crisis of succession and we need your advice, your nsights and your commitment to help keep the door of the Community Center open for the students and community members it has served since 1990.
I hope you can come. Lydia's notes and minutes from the last meeting are below.For further information call the Morales/Shakur Center at 212-650-5008 or contact Jeanne (646-271-5138; firstname.lastname@example.org); Lydia (646-610-0431; email@example.com) or Rodolfo (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Monday, November 19, 2007
Abdul-Halim V. said...
salaam,I respect your opinion and think you definitely have a point. But at the same time, I would argue that Islamic economic principles could actually be classed as left-of-center (in the sense of putting restraints on free market capitalism). So I'm not terribly bothered by Muslims who might use the socialist label.
I think what you say about Puerto Rican nationalism also makes sense, but it is also possible for Muslims (whether they are Puerto Rican or not) to be in support of Puerto Rican independence.
But I definitely agree with your general point that it is better to be leaders and create new models for the future than simply look backwards to models which are no longer valid.
p.s.what happened to ALianza Islamica?
Sat Nov 17, 08:47:00 PM
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani said...
Assalamu `alaikum wa rahmtullahi wa barakatuh
Thank you for you comments brother. I think the most harming part of accepting the White Left's model is that it tends the promote the Left's immoral positions on social issues. There is where I think there is the most harm.
In the this piece I wrote, I wanted to speak about how the "thinkers" and "intellectuals" of the Young Lords movement were highly influened by their a particular leftist postions that were/are prevelant amongst White people - more specifically the influence of the Jewish Left. Many of the leftist movements of people of color were not carbon-copies of the White Left. The Young Lords, I believe were more influence by the White Left than other groups of color.
One quick point in reference is the Young Lord's position on contraception. The Young Lord in imitation of White feminists were all for it while the Black Panthers - the Young Lords African-American couinterparts - were against it. Another example is that Brown Berets - the Chicano equivalent group - did not give in to white femininism and were looking for a progressive machismo, where as the Young Lords took a stance totally against machismo.
It is understandable that the "intellectuals" of the Young Lords were regurgitating what their Jewish professors were teaching them at Columbia, NYU, Lehman, Hunter, and other colleges. Pablo "Yoruba" Guzman wrote a whole chapter in the a book by Michael Abramson about the Young Lord called, "Palante: Young Lords Party," about how homosexuals are oppressed and how we should struggle for their rights. In the 60s and 70s the Young Lords, as many other people in the country were taking part of the "Sexual Revolution." Instead of affirming Puerto Ricans' traditional culture (which is more in line with Islam) they helped to spread this "Sexual Revolution" in the Puerto Rican community and this "Revolution" has helped to spread fornication, promiscuity, AIDS, and teenage pregnancies. Member of the Young Lords a'oodhubillah would activelly take part in orgies. They never stressed family values and how the community must be built upon the family.
On the point about independance there need to be new models as well that are in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah upon the understanding of the early generations of Muslims. One does not have to accept nationalism in order to be independentista.
As far as Alianza Islamica they are no longer around. That is for many reasons: poor leadership, nationalism, sufism, not establishing 5 salawat at it's masjid, lack of vision, and lack of knowledge. You cannot have a movement based around the fact that we are all from the same culture, nationality, or race. Members of Alianza Islamica were some of the first Puerto Rican Muslims to blindly follow old models. In there case it is more understandable since many were former Young Lords. The leaders of Alianza, I might add, were not from amongst the leadership of the Young Lords and the "intellectuals." They were not from the "movers and shakers" but from the rank and file. This may answer why Islam did not spread amongt large segments of the Puerto Rican population of New York. They had come from the cadre of the Party. So what is the excuse for people in 2007 who continue to use these old models?
However, I do think that Puerto Ricans and any ethnic group cannot effectively be galvanized around ethnicity but around a common ideology. That ideology in order to be acceptable to Allah must be based on the Quran and Sunnah. Even if it is not upon such a basis it can be successful in a worldy sense of the word, but Allah says, "Whoever obeys Allah and his Messenger has indeed achieved the greatest achievement." It is only through that way that it will be blessed from Allah, even if the numbers are few. There also need to be leadership that is charismatic, knowledgable, and strong not dictatorial who trully believe in transparancy.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It has created a reaction from many Puerto Rican Muslims who feel the need to “prove” their puertorriquenidad (Puerto Ricanness). This has created a need to try and bridge the gap between ones Puerto Rican identity and Muslim identity. While I am all for the bridging of these identities, I think that the current models are not satisfactory. Most of the Puerto Rican Muslim models have been highly influenced by Puerto Rican nationalists. One group that had had a profound effect on the young Puerto Rican Muslims is the Young Lords Party (originally known as the Young Lords Organization) of the late 60s to late 70s. Therefore, Puerto Rican Muslims have become receivers and not generators or creators of culture.
One of the biggest problems with the Puerto Rican Muslims being “followers” as opposed to “leaders” is that Boricua Muslims are reproducing kufr ideas and ideologies such as nationalism, socialism, secularism, Western feminism, etc. Let us not forget that despite the fact that the Young Lords did do many great things in our communities, the group also helped to spread a culturally leftist model. Most of the leaders of the Young Lords were atheists and influenced by the White Left. It is unfortunate that none of the leaders and “movers and shakers” of the YLP became Muslim. There were however many of the grassroots of the YLP whom became Muslim. Unfortunately, there has never evolved charismatic leaders to help to spread Islam in the Puerto Rican community by leaps and bounds.
Puerto Rican Muslims have to stop having a complex about being Boricua and Muslim. You no not see other Latino Muslims having of of the issues that Puerto Rican Muslims have. What Puerto Rican Muslims have ot do is create new models of culture and produce leaders and intellectuals that will help define Puerto Ricanness based upon Islamic principles. Puerto Rican Muslims need to change people’s minds. We must be firm in our understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This means not just a rudimentary understanding, but a deep one that can draw on ayat and ahadith. They must have a high-level of knowledge and insight into the traditional sciences. Also with that, there must be some of those whom have this knowledge-based background who also have an understanding of how culture works. Culture is live and always changes. It is like a living creature. They must have insight and knowledge of Puerto Rican culture. Puerto Rican culture is not homogenous. There is no one Puerto Rican culture. These new leaders and scholars must be about the change the culture and Islamicize it. They must never perpetuate negative aspects of the culture.
It is only by creating such an environment that we can see a “golden age” and healthy growth of Islam in the Puerto Rican community and the wider community. Let us be leaders and not followers. PALANTE SIEMPRE. Go forward brothers and sisters. Don’t look backwards. The Young Lords have come and gone. Alianza Islamica has come and gone. At whom will the next generation be looking? Will we leave any legacy?
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Clarksville, TN 37043
11:00 – 11:15 - Welcome by Khaleel Trotter
Recitation of Surat Al Fatiha by Shan Choudhury
Reading from Surat Al – Mulk by Ahmed Said
11:15 – 12:00 - Dawa by Brother Khalil Al – Puertorikani
Q & A
12:00 – 12:30 - Dhur Prayer & Snack
12:30 – 1:20 - Temptations by Brother Ibrahim Abdullah Rivera Cardona
Q & A
1:20 – 1:50 - Lunch
1:50 – 2:50 - Patience by Brother Yaser Arafat
Q & A
2:50 – 3:30 - Asr Prayer
Refreshment & Dessert
3:30 – 4:15 - Increasing Our Iman by Brother Khalil Al – Puertorikani
Q & A
4:15 – 4:30 - Appreciation of Speakers
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
By, Chris Cillizza
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Robertson's support was coveted by several of the leading Republican candidates and provides Giuliani with a major boost as the former New York City mayor seeks to convince social conservatives that, despite his positions supporting abortion rights and gay rights, he is an acceptable choice as the GOP nominee.
Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) picked up the endorsement of Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas conservative and favorite of evangelical Christians, who recently dropped out of the GOP presidential field. The endorsement could provide a needed boost to McCain's campaign, especially in Iowa. Brownback called McCain "the best pro-life candidate to beat Hillary Clinton."Following Robertson's formal announcement at the Press Club, the Fix had a chance to sit down with the reverend and Giuliani to further explore their relationship.
Robertson and Giuliani have crossed paths several times during the course of their careers but they were able to get to know one another better on a flight home from Israel in 2003.
While Robertson has been heavily courted by a number of presidential candidates -- most notably Mitt Romney -- in recent months, he decided to cast his lot with Giuliani in order to counter a movement among some evangelicals to support a third party candidate if the former New York City Mayor becomes the Republican nominee.
"I thought it was important for me to make it clear that Rudy Giuliani is more than acceptable to people of faith," said Robertson. "Given the fractured nature of the process, I thought it was time to solidify around one candidate."
He insisted that while some on the "fringe" of the social conservative movement may see Giuliani as an unacceptable nominee, the "core know better."
Robertson said although he and Giuliani disagree on social issues, those disagreements "pale into insignificance" when measured against the import of the fight against global terrorism and radical Islam. "We need a man who sees clearly how to deal with that issue," said Robertson.
For his part, Giuliani cited Robertson as simply the latest evidence that he shares large swaths of common ground with people of faith -- emphasizing his work to rid Times Square of pornography and his promise to appoint strict constructionists to the federal bench if elected president.
"If they look at my record they are going to a lot more areas of agreement than disagreement," asserted Giuliani, noting that some of his opponents -- who he chose not to name -- have their own weaknesses on issues important to social conservatives.
The endorsement will definitely slow Romney's momentum with social conservatives. Romney had recently secured the backing of conservative stalwarts Paul Weyrich and Bob Jones III -- endorsements that seemed to strengthen his bid to become the electable conservative alternative to Giuliani. Romney had made no secret of his desire for Robertson's endorsement and has to be disappointed this morning.
Robertson is widely viewed as one of the pillars of the religious right. He founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Christian Coalition and Regent University in Virginia Beach. Robertson ran for president in 1988, finishing a surprising second in the Iowa caucuses before losing steam in later states. In recent years, Robertson has drawn considerable controversy for comments made about homosexuality.
In May our colleauge Alan Cooperman described Robertson as a member of "an older generation of evangelical leaders" that includes the Rev. Billy Graham, psychologist James C. Dobson and the Rev. D. James Kennedy, who are "ailing or nearing retirement," and who are seeing their movement "tugged in different directions" by a new crop of activists.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
"There is the potential at least for us finding ways of peacefully resolving some of our conflicts, and that effort has not been attempted," Obama said. "And if we don't make that attempt, then we're going to find ourselves continuing on the path that Bush and Cheney have set, and we're seeing the rhetoric rise every day."
"It has consequences not only for our strategic interests, it has consequences for our troops in Iraq and it has consequences for our economy," Obama told NBC's "Today" show.
He reiterated statements in a New York Times interview, published Friday, in which he said Iran might be offered membership in the World Trade Organization and assurances that the United States would not seek "regime change" if Iranian leaders changed their ways on key issues.
Republican rival Rudy Giuliani dismissed Obama's ideas.
Asked about suggestions from Hillary Clinton's campaign that six other Democrats, all men, unfairly piled on the only female candidate at the last debate, Obama said he had experienced similar attacks in an earlier debate in Iowa, when he talked about negotiating Iran and other rogue nations.
"We spent, I think, the first 15 minutes of the debate hitting me on various foreign policy issues and I didn't come out and say look I'm being hit on because I look different from the rest of the folks on the stage," said Obama, the son of a black father and a white mother.
"I assumed it was because there were real policy differences there," he said. "And I think that has to be the attitude that all of us take."