On October 6th I learned that there is a word that can not, and should never be said in public.

That word is ‘Hussein’

The County that I live in became a little more famous when Sheriff Mike Scott used Barack Obama’s full legal name at a political rally. The outcry has been intense. The office I work in has been fielding emails and calls from outraged Floridians and people from out of state that heard Mike Scott’s ‘radical’ comment. The local news paper’s website has also been diluged with people calling Sheriff Mike Scott everything from being a skin head to a fear monger.

I find all of this to be insane. Mike Scott said ‘Barack Hussein Obama’! Oh my! The sky is falling! I can’t believe he used Obama’s middle name. The sacred name that should never be spoken. What seems so strange to me is that Obama supporters would be offended by hearing their own candidates full given name. This is your guy, your candidate, how can you be offended when his full name is used? What is offensive about Barack Hussein Obama’s name? Why shouldn’t we yell it from the street corners? Barack is proud of his family name and his lineage. Shouldn’t his supporters be as well? Why is there so much fear regarding his name being said out loud?

I am reading comments from people that claim simply saying the name ‘Hussein’ implies ties to terrorism. That saying his name is ‘racist’. Can I ask one simple question. How? How does saying Barack Hussein Obama imply any of these things? Has the world gone mad? Are people really this crazy? This sensitive? The last I checked, I live in America, a land where we all come from many different traditions and cultures. So, you tell me what is wrong with the name Barack Hussein Obama? Why should I find it offensive that the Sheriff of Lee County said his name. Is there something sacred about it? Do you think people in this country are really that ignorant that they would judge someone by the middle name that they were given at birth? That they would think ‘Oh that sounds like Sadam Hussein, I bet they are related.’ Seriously?

Barack Hussein Obama is proud of his family history. And why shouldn’t he be? He comes from very humble beginnings and is now steps away from the highest office in the United States of America. Barack Hussein Obama has nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide regarding his name. His father was a Muslim, but Obama has been clear that he is a Christian. Remember all the Reverend Wright stuff? That was not in a Mosque, that was in a Church. America is not so ignorant to believe that someones middle name makes them a terrorist. In fact, I am offended by all of the people that think anyone would think that. So why do some of his supporters want to hide his name from being spoken? Shouldn’t his supporters want to shout his name from the street corners to prove how much America has grown in regards to cultural diversity and acceptance? It seems that some of Obama’s supporters are the ones that have an issue with his name. Which seems completely ridiculous. The NAACP and the ACLU are down here now saying that Mike Scott was participating in ‘hate’ speech. So, now it is ‘hate speech’ to say someones full given name. What is America becoming?

And here is the video below if you somehow missed it being looped by the major media outlets.

And here are Mike Scott’s Official Statements regarding this issue:

Everyone seems to agree on the underlying issue my mention of a Presidential candidate’s full, legal name of record. There were no accusations, innuendos, untruths, or malicious words before or after the candidate’s name; although many others have made inflammatory statements about the candidate’s character, etc. I did not change my tone or otherwise punctuate or repeat the name with any verbal or physical emphasis.

Why did I use the Candidate’s full, legal name of record? Despite varying inferences, interpretations, opinions, and extrapolations; the answer is because I wanted to, much like I wanted to voice my support for the Barron Collier Marching Band.

The issue of my status as an elected official participating in a political rally has been raised along with the suggestion that this somehow clouds my representation of all constituents. I have not heard similar concern over the many other elected officials that day and everyday engaging in the same activities across our state and country. For example Governor Crist is the Governor of all Florida’s people and his support of the Republican ticket in no way implies diminished concern for anyone opposing his political choice. Likewise, my political choices against the backdrop of my proven record of service, in no way suggest diminished concern for any individual or group.

The issue of my appearance at the rally in uniform has been raised. It is noteworthy that I recently completed my primary campaign and continue my general campaign in the same uniform. My practice has been to wear the uniform at all times and as is undisputed, I am on duty 24/7 and 365. It is also noteworthy that I joined my fellow Florida Sheriffs in Tampa very recently for a political rally all were in full uniform. At no time during this week’s rally did I mention the agency I represent; however, I was introduced by my official title. Given the introduction and my widespread name and face recognition in this area, I am satisfied that my apparel is irrelevant and the same reactions would have resulted had I been wearing a suit and tie.

The issue of the NAACP and Coalition for Justice instigating the ‘race card’ and somehow deciding that my political choice and/or use of a candidate’s full, legal name of record makes me a racist flies in the face of reason. The strong support these groups have always provided me is rooted in my tireless efforts to work equally hard for all of Lee County. I delivered the Dunbar Community Policing Office and shocked business owners along MLK Jr. Blvd. by regularly stopping in to say hello during my first term as Sheriff. If their support is so shallow as to wane over one (1) word that was legal, accurate, and void of supporting malice beyond dispute, then I will respectfully move on without their political support and without change to my loyalty to them or their constituents.

Finally, the complaint made to Federal authorities relative to the first four (4) items listed above. Much as when our agency or yours is called with accusations of wrongdoing, we receive the concern and begin an initial inquiry to determine if further investigation is warranted. I have not been contacted by any authority at this point and am completely unaware of any rules or regulations violated. If elected officials are governed by the Hatch Act or similar laws governing political activity I refer you back to item three (3) above and the fact that everyday and nearly around the clock across our country, elected officials are engaged in political activities. In short, I expect to be fully cleared of any wrongdoing.