ADD another slur to the American lexicon. According to Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, you can't be both decent and Arab.My disgust with his virulent and disgraceful comments is a source of immeasurable pain. While on the campaign trail on Friday, October 10 and during a town hall meeting, McCain passed the microphone to a woman who said, "I can't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's not, he's not uh"- he's an Arab. He's not"-," before McCain retook the microphone and replied, "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about. He's not [an Arab]." (Source) Here is the video. Some have argued that McCain cannot be blamed for the outrageous behavior of his supporters. I disagree. All through his political advertising, the McCain strived to connect race and terror on a subliminal level. Hypocritically, McCain has tried to project an image of taking the high road in his public appearances. The facade came crashing Friday as McCain did not notice he was engaging in racist hate speech.As a proud American of Arab decent, I take strong exception to the Senator's suggestion that somehow, to be decent, to be a good American, you can't be an Arab as well. Arab Americans have been loyal citizens of this nation for over 150 years and have served in every war in this country had to fight. They have been loyal citizens serving with exceptional commitments in all area of human endeavor whether it in the arts, sciences, commerce, space and the continual enrichment of the spiritual and moral foundations of America. We pride ourselves for nurturing strong and wholesome families who are driven to excellence in education, self-reliance, and good citizenship. Our loyalty must never be doubted and our patriotism questioned. And we refuse to be so utterly denigrated as a people of a proud heritage and accomplished civilization. Collectively, we stand side by side with our fellow Americans in our opposition and denunciation of all acts of terrorism and acts of hatred against any one and by anyone.
Our love for this country and what it is and what it can be is absolute and transcends any political differences. In fact, over the over 20000 so-called "voluntary interviews"- conducted by the FBI after the infamous 911 attacks, not a single Arab American has been found guilty of linkage to terrorism. The vast and indiscriminate profiling program of Arab and Muslim Americans continues to supersede all legitimate discussion about t counter terrorism. Fear politics is being called upon to sway xenophobic attitudes in our society.
Sadly, Senator McCain is desperately stooping low to racist and bigoted traits unfit of a great American hero and a dedicated public servant. For the over 2 million American of Arab origin, an apology is most needed if McCain is to expect their vote let alone their respect. On November 4, my choice for president will be not only between the lesser of two evils but between one with a vision and another a nightmare.