Posted by Arab American Institute on August 07, 2015 in Blog
Seventeen candidates running for the Republican Party nomination debated last night. The good news is that most discussed issues. The bad news is at least four chose to resort to tired bigotry to appeal to voters. The statements you see above aren’t satirical; they’re not from fringe politicians, or radical political parties. The statements you see above were said on a national platform, from candidates vying for a chance to lead our nation.
The fact that this kind of rhetoric is not only tolerated, but also accepted, is alarming. Whether it’s posturing for a constituency or based in ignorance, we are reminded of the frequency with which our leaders disparage Arabs and Muslims. This practice serves only to divide our nation and is contrary to our nation’s core principles of equality. It must be rejected.
A debate of ideas is welcomed – hatred and bigotry are not.
It’s time to take action. The approach we’ve taken is to track these statements and call on these officials to repudiate and apologize for them. But, some of the most egregious offenders are not going to apologize – indeed they’re doubling down on their bigotry. We must work to change the idea that this kind of speech is a way to attract voters, and instead ensure that statements likes these become a liability for the candidates and their parties.
To help fight this hatred we ask you to do three things:
First, we ask that you call out instances of bigotry when you see them, and start by contacting RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to ask that he raise our concerns with each of the candidates.
Earlier this year we launched a pilot program in Pennsylvania, asking lawmakers across the state to sign a pledge to combat bigotry. Please share this pledge with your elected and appointed officials.
And finally, like we do every 4 years going into the Presidential election, we are convening for our National Leadership Conference on October 23-25 in Michigan. It is here where we will draft the Arab American Platform to tackle the issues we care most about, and confront the bigotry we’re already hearing on the campaign trail.
Please take a moment and register now so you can be part of this important effort.