The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Leonard Pitts Jr. argues that American Muslims need more cultural ambassadors who can serve the same role that Bill Cosby did for African-Americans, in his column, “‘All American Muslim’ — A Lost Opportunity For Understanding:”

A few words on what American Muslims need.

We were discussing this, an olive-skinned Muslim man and I, at a banquet last year, when he said a wistful, poignant thing that has stayed with me ever since. “We thought we were white,” he said.

Not “white” in the sense of race, whatever that unscientific word means. Rather, white in the sense of assimilation and admission, white in the sense of people from Ireland, Armenia, Cuba, Hungary, southern Italy and other places who, upon arriving here, were regarded as threatening, nonwhite outsiders and required to earn their whiteness, their acceptance, over several generations. When the man said American Muslims thought they were white, he meant they thought they had successfully navigated the trail blazed by all those other people from all those other places.

Then came Sept. 11, 2001. All that progress — and 3,000 human lives — went up in smoke, and Islamophobia stormed America.

What American Muslims need, I told him, were cultural ambassadors, Muslim actors, singers and joke tellers who could change American consciousness through American televisions, multiplexes and iPods.

Which is why I was pleased last year when the TLC network premiered “All-American Muslim,” a reality show about five Islamic families. And it’s why I was disappointed when it was canceled last week, an apparent victim of low ratings.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Youtube Screenshot

This Tuesday, October 4 is the official release date for New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s new book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America. Excerpts from the book have been widely reported, and one of the anecdotes being reported by Axios involves Trump’s desire to display the Superman logo when he was discharged from Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland in October 2020.

Keep reading... Show less

Matt Gaetz

Youtube Screenshot

Last week, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) voted against a government funding measure that contained $18.8 billion in federal disaster aid for natural disasters, including Hurricane Ian, which just ravaged his home state. Gaetz was one of 15 Florida lawmakers who voted against it.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}