To some within the US, the recent heckling of Obama at Republican rallies – where he has been called Arab, Muslim, traitor, terrorist, friend of terrorists, Barack Hussein Obama – amounts to code words that reflect latent or overt racism inspired by the first presidential nomination of an African-American by a major party, writes International Herald Tribune.

“What you hear around here is, would you rather have a black friend in the White House, or a white enemy?” said John Schuster, a Republican from Wheeling, West Virginia, who joined several thousand people here for a twilight rally led by Palin.

Another rally-goer, Burton Reed, said, “At first I was open to Obama because I thought we needed new thinking about jobs and the economy, but the more I heard about him, the more worried I became. He says he’s Christian, but I hear he’s Muslim. And he just doesn’t sound pro-U.S.A. I kind of question his devotion to this country.”

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