We must all stand up for Khizr Khan by responding to his call to vote

Felicia Persaud | 8/4/2016, 11:23 a.m.
In the days since Khizr Khan, father of fallen U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, stood up and bravely called out ...
Donald Trump Contributed

In the days since Khizr Khan, father of fallen U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, stood up and bravely called out Donald Trump for his racism, narcissism and bigotry, Trump and the right wing have come out in shameful attack mode against this patriotic immigrant, Muslim and American.

They have once again proved that they can give but not take criticism. Trump and his army of insane asylum residents on the right have called Khan everything, from liar and political pawn to terrorist and “Muslim Brotherhood Agent,” in the days since his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The attacks have been so excessive and obviously racist that even Republican elected officials such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Sen. John McCain have all broken their silence to send some stinger missiles Trump’s way—even though they all stopped short of rescinding their endorsements of him.

“While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us,” McCain, a war hero whose service and capture in Vietnam were also once derided by Trump, said in a remarkable and lengthy written reproach of his party’s presidential nominee.

President Obama also chastised Trump without naming him, and the head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Brian Duffy, said his organization would not “tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate majority leader—big supporters of Trump—have offered statements in support of the Khan family, but they did not mention Trump by name and did not pull back support for him.

For his part, Trump has failed to apologize for his suggestion that Khizr Khan might have forbidden his wife to speak during his address last week.

Instead, Trump tweeted, “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same. Nice!”

But while we balk at the hate and the insanity being directed towards this Gold Star family, we must remember the other words of advice Khan offered beyond his criticism of Trump and the idea of offering up the American Constitution to the man who dreams of turning the United States into a global dictatorship.

We as “patriotic American immigrants and Muslim immigrants must not take this election lightly,” Khan said in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American freedom.

“On Election Day, take the time to get out and vote,” Khan urged. “And most importantly, we must vote for the healer … vote for the strongest, most qualified candidate … not the divider.”

We as immigrants must support Khan and follow this clarion call in the face of demagoguery. This is the only way we will win and the only way Captain Khan’s sacrifice will truly have been worth it.

Because at the end of the day, we simply cannot allow a “bull s—t artist,” as Fareed Zakaria said on Aug. 1, 2016, of Donald Trump, to be elected president of the greatest nation on Earth!

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.