So California Republican Duncan Hunter is in a tough fight to hold on to his 50th district seat, so he (this is good, check this) accused his Arab American challenger of belonging to a plot by “radical Muslims… trying to infiltrate the U.S. government.” WHOA! Surely just a slip in a desperate and emotionally vulnerable moment, right? Wrong. This was also the theme of an attack ad he approved for his campaign, which The Washington Post has given four Pinnochios (the worst rating ever) over its total dishonesty, and which it also characterized as “naked anti-Muslim bias in an effort to scare Californians into voting for an indicted Republican incumbent.” Of course, using anti-Muslim bigotry against an Arab American who happens to be Christian highlights the intersection between anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias, and reaffirms the joint fight we’re all in together. But Hunter’s tactics aren’t surprising. After all, others have also used hateful and divisive campaigning for political gain (cough, Trump, cough). But what has been exceptionally disappointing is the silence of the Republican establishment in the face of this deplorable trend. That’s why we sent them a letter calling on them to speak out. We’ll keep you posted on if/what we hear back.

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