Thursday, October 08, 2009

Here we go again...

Surely Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) did not intend on peeling the scab off of a healing wound when he spoke last Thursday at a conference in Washington D.C., but his comment drawing a contrast between being Muslim and being "good" has done just that.

When questioned by The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg about groups within the Republican party that play on conspiracies surrounding President Obama, Graham expressed his disdain for some fringe elements of his party and conservative media. He denounced Fox News host Glenn Beck as a "cynic" and called the birther community, who question the president's U.S. citizenship, "crazy."

After discounting the claims that Obama was born outside of the United States, Graham went on to insist President Obama "is not a Muslim. He's a good man."

While it is outrageous - to say the least - that such broad ranging contrasts may be drawn between one’s moral composition and their religious affiliation, comments such as Senator Graham's are not new among our elected officials.

Americans were just beginning to heal from the alienation they endured last year when Islamophobia flared-up during the Presidential election and Americans across the nation accused Obama of being a Muslim, implying that this is something antithetical to being American.

Such views were also expressed by presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, nearly a year ago today at a campaign rally at which one of his supporters stated, “I don’t trust Obama… he’s an Arab!” McCain responded, “No, ma’am, he’s a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with. He’s not [an Arab].”

In a country composed of individuals from numerous ethnic backgrounds, faiths, and lifestyle decisions, it is deeply saddening to observe such blatantly discriminatory and ignorant comments made without a second thought by those representing us in government.

We have not yet arrived at the post-racial society many claim President Obama's election embodies in the U.S. today - though this ideal is not beyond the scope of reality one day.U.S. Senators and others entrusted with shaping public opinion, must challenge bigoted and un-American sentiments and serve as the enlightened vanguard that guides our nations toward peace and prosperity for all.

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Blogger Matthew Thomas, Government Affairs Intern said...

I find your article to be very appealing. Solid work Reema.

1:50 PM


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