We are at a crossroads

 

September 20, 2012

As the President of ADC, I’ve had the great privilege of traveling across the country and meeting Arab Americans from all walks of life. 

Every day, I learn about the challenges and the struggles we face both individually and as a community: our children are bullied in schools for being Arab, overlooked for a job because of an Arabic name, harassed at airports by the TSA — and with the upcoming elections we are now facing increased defamation by political officials. 

But no matter what kind of challenges we’re facing, we can’t give up. 

No matter what our background, we must come together

It is not going to be easy. Look at what we are up against: 

  • In an interview, Arizona GOP candidate Gabriela Saucedo Mercer said that Middle Easterners “only goal in life is to cause harm to the United States…so why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?”
  • Representative Joe Walsh in a town hall meeting warned Americans saying “One thing I'm sure of is that there…is a radical strain of Islam in this country…trying to kill Americans every week.” “It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11.”
  • During the recent Democratic National Convention, DNC Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa passed an amendment to reinstate language supporting Jerusalem as the capital of Israel despite strong opposition and the obvious lack of a two-thirds majority.

I want to challenge you right now to think about who we are as community — and more importantly, who we want to be. Will we sit back and idly watch our community be targeted by those who are supposed to protect us — or will we stand and face these challenges together? 

Think about what the future will look like if we