Remember when emblems of American racism were black sharecroppers denied equal chances at education, employment, and political power, or maybe seamstresses who had to ride the bus to work because they couldn’t afford a car?
Apparently things have gotten so much better on the race front, (and yet somehow worse than ever, according to the New York Times and NPR), that one can still be a victim of severe racism and manage to do quite well.
Today’s Detroit News reports this weekend’s 24th annual convention of Arab-Americans leaders in Washington, D.C., including locals Osama Siblani, publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab American News, and Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (“Convention to tackle Arab-American rights”).
(Today’s article is under Deb Price’s byline, although she usually writes as the News’s lesbian-affairs columnist. Gregg Krupa is their regular reporter on Arab-Americans, but he's been strangely AWOL all week, all the stranger since the controversy over the UM-Dearborn foot baths should have been his beat. That story was covered instead by Karen Bouffard. But then lo and behold this morning I find Gregg has re-appeared in a nice piece about an Arab American handholding demonstration. “(People of Arabic descent give unity a hand in Dearborn”).)
In any event, this weekend’s convention is meant to brainstorm “solutions to threats to civil liberties at home as well as to the ongoing turmoil in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East.”
On the civil liberties front, one panelist, Salah Husseini, 25, plans to
“talk about his experiences growing up in Grosse Pointe, attending University of Michigan and now going to law school at American University. ‘There is a huge problem with racism, and now it is being directed at Muslims and Arabs,’ he said.”
Just in case that went by too fast, I will repeat.
Mr. Husseini grew up in Grosse Pointe, attended the University of Michigan, and is now a law student at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. His area of subject matter on the panel will be the “huge problem with racism, directed at Muslims and Arabs," including, presumably, himself.
Talk about a brother being behind the 8-Ball.
Obviously, being the victim of prejudice hasn't kept him down. But just imagine where'd he be now if it weren't for this country's huge problem with racism?