Kerry: Obama Could Help US Relations with Muslim Nations ‘Because He’s a Black Man’

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 20, 2008 2:45pm

In an interview with Massachusetts’ SouthCoastToday (watch it HERE), Obama-backing Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., says among other reasons he’s supporting Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is his belief that "it would be such an affirmation of who we say we are as a people. if we could elect an African-American president, young leader, who is obviously visionary about the ability to inspire people."

Kerry said that a President Obama would help the US, in relations with Muslim countries, "in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can’t otherwise."

"He has the ability to help us bridge the divide of religious extremism," Kerry said. "To maybe even give power to moderate Islam to be able to stand up against this radical misinterpretation of a legitimate religion."

Kerry was asked what gives Obama that credibility.

"Because he’s African-American. Because he’s a black man. Who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country."

An African-American president would be "a symbol of empowerment" for those who have been disenfranchised around the world, Kerry said, "an important lesson for America to show Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, other places in the world where disenfranchised people don’t get anything."

- jpt

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