There were many memorable moments this week as history was made with the nomination of Hillary Clinton by the Democratic Party for President of the United States. For me, the most amazing thing was hearing the stories of the many people whose lives were touched by Hillary Clinton at one point. Then, once touched, she stayed in touch and followed up and through for them. Last night, the stand out story was from grieving but determined father Khizr Khan whose Anti-Trump Speech was so amazing that Fox News ignored it and provided what can only be called an outright propaganda campaign with the images.
Fox News ignored a speech by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war, instead opting to air commercials during the speech. Fox later went live to a song by pop singer Katy Perry after the speech.
During the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, Khizr Khan spoke about the honor he felt to be present at the convention with his wife, “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan’s speech was preceded by a video that showed Hillary Clinton calling Captain Khan “the best of America” and explaining the circumstances of his death, for which he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
This actually is a tribute to the massive effectiveness of the speech and it’s also telling. Why hide a true story that represents a slice of America?
While CNN and MSNBC aired the video and Khan’s speech in full, Fox News’ The Kelly File instead continued with its regular commentary featuring Brit Hume, then went to commercial as the speech began, showing slightly more than two minutes of the speech in a small window as commercials — including a Benghazi attack ad — overplayed it.
I watched the full speech on CSPAN without the distraction provided by what has to be the most horrid collection of talking heads possible. The father of the dead Muslim soldier’s testimony and rebuke of Trumpism was a powerful testament to the strengths that our immigrant population bring to us. Every new American is an American that wants to be here and takes nothing for granted. It was a strong juxtaposition to a comment that Bill Clinton made to Muslim Americans on Tuesday. His suggestion they stay if they “love America and hate terrorism” was patronizing at best. Who gives a speech suggesting any group of Americans would abandon their country or love attacks on it? The specific quote is this “”If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.” Muslim Americans are a part of “we” as Khizr Khan demonstrated so eloquently last night. I hope every one heard his message. Insha’Allah.
But the worst moment of the speech came near its end, when Clinton began to riff about the different kinds of people who should join Hillary’s effort. “If you love this country, you’re working hard, you’re paying taxes, you’re obeying the law and you’d like to become a citizen, you should choose immigration reform over someone that wants to send you back,” he said. Fair enough. Under any conceivable immigration overhaul, only those undocumented immigrants who have obeyed the law once in the United States—which includes paying taxes—will qualify for citizenship. Two sentences later, Clinton said that, “If you’re a young African Americ#an disillusioned and afraid … help us build a future where no one’s afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future.” No problem there. Of course African Americans should be safe from abusive police, and of course, police should be safe from the murderers who threaten them.
But in between, Clinton said something dreadful: “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you.” The problem is in the assumption. American Muslims should be viewed exactly the same way other Americans are. If they commit crimes, then they should be prosecuted, just like other Americans. But they should not have to prove that they “love America and freedom” and “hate terror” to “stay here.” Their value as Americans is inherent, not instrumental. Their role as Americans is not to “help us win” the “war on terror.”
Whether Clinton meant to or not, he lapsed into Trumpism: the implication that Muslims are a class apart, deserving of special scrutiny and surveillance, guilty of terrorist sympathies until proven innocent. I think I understand where the formulation came from. In the 1990s, one of Clinton’s key New Democratic innovations was his insistence that with rights, come responsibilities: To receive government assistance, welfare recipients must work. If people commit crimes, the government will punish them harshly.
The problem with transferring that formulation to Muslims today is that Muslims aren’t asking for benefits from the welfare state. They’re simply asking not to be discriminated against. Clinton’s formulation was like saying, in 1964, that as long as African Americans eschew violence and love America, they deserve the right to vote.
Hear are a few comments I read from a friend’s discussion on Facebook. I refer to him only as the initials NT.
FR: “There’s no need to read into it to see how he’s advocating two-tiered citizenship. It is quite clear.”
NT: “That’s premised on the concept that leaving’s an option, because they’re after all somehow all immigrants, who choose to stay. Like FR pointed out, it’s clear and unadulterated advocacy for two-tiered citizenship. And considering that both parties voted overwhelmingly to restrict visa-free travel for Europeans of dual citizenry with Iran, Iraq, Syria, and some other countries, this is on small point.”
NT: “Some folks I know of were prevented from traveling to the US since the November legal change, which practically nobody noticed. This problem is real, and his quote is tangible.”
I also would like to rebuke the people that were criticizing Ghazala Khan for standing quietly next to her husband on the stage wearing her hajib. Who are we to infer her motives for either? American values respect religious practice. American values also respect a grieving mother. But, back to the content of this amazing speech which was both a tribute to their son and a take down of Trumpism.
In 2005, The Washington Post interviewed Khizr Khan. “They did not call him Captain Khan,” he said of the men his son led. “They called him ‘our captain.’ ”
“We are honored to stand here as the parents of Captain Humayun Khan,” the elder Khan said at the Democratic convention, “and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” He spoke of his son’s dreams of becoming a military lawyer and how Hillary Clinton had referred to his son as “the best of America.”
Then he focused his attention on Trump.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America,” Khan said. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
“Donald Trump,” he said, “you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.” He pulled a copy of the Constitution from his pocket. “In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’ ” Earlier this month, Trump promised congressional Republicans that he would defend “Article XII” of the Constitution, which doesn’t exist.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?” Khan asked. “Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
“You have sacrificed nothing. And no one.”
If there ever was a statement that could be characterized as a mic drop, those words on sacrifice from Khan represented a loud and resounding mic drop. Wonkette’s take was great.
Khizr Khan, we’d submit to you, is a far better patriot than any of the morons who think a patriot’s job is to take over wildlife refuges or keep an eye on scary Muslims as they attend their mosques. And what you really need to keep this country free is equal protection under law and the First Amendment, not an AR-15.
Khan’s speech blew up on social media, although not everyone was a fan. Spite-fueled rageparrot Ann Coulter, for instance, didn’t think much of a guy whose son merely saved the lives of a bunch of The Troops, and she had excellent reasons…
Additionally, I loved the speech given by Anastasia Somozo, a disabled rights advocate and long time friend of Hillary Clinton.
She was beautiful. She was magnificent. And in four riveting, I’m-not-playin’ minutes, she schooled the world that disabled people don’t want the able-bodied to speak for them.
They want the able-bodied to listen to them and respect their equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If you missed Anastasia Somoza’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, Google it and grab the Kleenex. You’ll be moved by the dignity and ferocity of Somoza, 32, a disability-rights advocate who was born with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia.
The tiny Somoza owned the Wells Fargo Center from the instant she rolled onstage in her motorized wheelchair to declare her belief in Hillary Clinton and to reject Donald Trump’s limited views of people who are different.
“I fear the day we elect a president who defines being American in the narrowest possible terms, who shouts, bullies and profits off of vulnerable Americans,” she said. “Donald Trump has shown us who he really is, and I honestly feel bad for anyone with that much hate in their heart.”
Then came the line that brought cheers so loud, they must’ve busted windows.
Then, there was the equally amazing story of survival during and after 9/11 of Lauren Manning.
Lauren Manning, a former executive and partner atCantor Fitzgerald who was wounded in the World Trade Center attack, spoke about how her life “changed forever” after the terrorist attack and lauded Clinton for having stood with her “through that fight” to recovery.
Manning is one of the few Cantor Fitzgerald to survive. The company lost 658 people in the attack.
She survived despite burns covering more than 80 percent of her body.
Here are Manning’s remarks to the DNC:
“When I arrived at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald.
A moment later, my life changed forever. I was burned over 82 percent of my body, my chances of survival next to zero.
I battled for months, to live, and for years, to recover.
I fought in tribute to the friends and colleagues I lost, and all 2,996 people who were killed that day. I fought to honor our troops, who were fighting on frontlines around the world.
I fought to return to my young son. I fought as hard as I could so the terrorists wouldn’t get one more.
Hillary Clinton stood with me through that fight.
In the darkest of days and the hardest of times, the people who show up mean everything.
Hillary showed up.
She walked into my hospital room and took my bandaged hand in her own. Our connection wasn’t between a senator and her constituent. Our connection was person to person.
She visited, called, and checked in for years, because she cared.
When I needed her, she was there. When our first responders needed her, she was there.
Now our country needs her.
I trusted her when my life was on the line, and she came through. Not for the cameras, not because anyone was watching, but because that’s who she is. Kind. Caring. Loyal.
This is the Hillary Clinton I want you to know. She was there for me. That’s why I’m with Her.”
Some how, I cannot imagine a huge number of ordinary people with extraordinary lives showing up and giving similar testimony to Bernie Sanders or very many other pols in this country. This native son of Nebraska was also a favorite of mine. I remember hearing his story back in the day. To see that young boy grow up into such a young man was just inspiring!
Ryan Moore from South Sioux City, Nebraska was selected as one of the “everyday Americans” who will address the 2016 Democratic National Convention this week. Moore is one of twenty individuals from across the nation to share their stories as an America that is stronger together. Moore was selected to speak by the Democratic National Convention Committee and Hillary for America. According to the DNCC, “Ryan has known Hillary Clinton since 1994 when his family came to Washington, DC for an event to advocate for health care reform. Ryan has stayed in contact with Hillary ever since.”
Moore is set to speak Tuesday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, and will talk about growing up with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia dwarfism and the difficulties his family faced when his father lost his job because his employer did not want to have to cover Ryan’s health care and treatment costs. When asked about being selected to speak 2016 DNC Moore stated, “I was completely shocked when I found out I was being asked to speak at the DNC. It’s such an honor and privilege to take part in this historic event! I’m so glad to be able to represent the state of Nebraska in this speech, and hope and pray that I make my home state proud.”
Anyway, there were so many awesome Americans testifying for Hillary Clinton all week that I may never tire of going back and reading their stories some where, of how Hillary became a meaningful part of their lives, and the things Clinton did because she is Hillary Clinton; no less or more.
The most tearful moment for me came during the testimony of the “Mothers of the Movement.” Again, the strength of a parent’s grief turned into determination is something that just blew me away. Each and every one of these women lives each day making sure that no other woman experiences what they did and they do so while supporting Hillary Clinton. No one should underestimate the abiding and strong power of women together.
Nine black women whose sons and daughters died in racially-charged incidents took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday as party delegates shouted “Black Lives Matter.” They urged voters to elect Hillary Clinton, arguing that she cares deeply about racial injustice and will try to reduce tensions between police and communities of color.
The decision of Clinton’s campaign to have these women on stage at the convention was the latest illustration of the growing influence of the Black Lives Matter movement. This anti-racism campaign, which did not even exist at the time of the DNC in 2012, has successfully pushed Clinton, President Obama and the broader Democratic Party to focus more on issues of policing and racial disparities.
Clinton has repeatedly used the phrase “Black Lives Matter” during her campaign and has called for a number of police reforms, such as creating a national standard for when officers can use force and increasing implicit bias training for law enforcement personnel.
“This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about saving our children,” said Sybrina Fulton, whose 17-year-old son Trayvon Martin was killed in Florida in 2012 in a controversial incident that drew so much national attention that President Obama eventually said that “Travyon Martin could have been me.”
She added, “In memory our children, we are imploring all of you to vote this Election Day.”
Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, said “Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter.”
So, I’m closing the post today with a bit of Bill Clinton and balloon fun from last night that I lifted from Ralph’s Facebook. Thank’s for the early morning smile Ralph!!! Buzzfeed says that Bill Clinton really likes Balloons.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Easter EGG!! Bonus Content!!!
All of this reminded me of how much I want for my daughters. Thought I’d share this with you. My fellow NOW members gave this album to me during a baby shower in 1983. It became one of Jean’s favorites and we would sing and dance to it all the time when she was little.
Here’s free to be you and me after 40 years.