Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Past Ware Lecturer, Rashid Khalidi in the News

No, it wasn't that Barack Obama shared his peanut butter sandwich with Rashid Khalidi in Kindergarten, but now the country's best designer suit-wearing lipstick-covered Governor, Sarah Palin is trying to cast Obama as a dangerous radical by pairing him with Rashid Khalidi. History Professor Rashid Khalidi. 2007 Ware Lecturer Rashid Khalidi.

When I heard this I looked at my family, what? Rashid Khalidi, a P.L.O. spokesperson? I don't think so. My son and I saw him speak at the 2007 General Assembly in Portland, OR with a whole crew of other UUs and yes, he was tough on Bush policy in the Middle East, in Iran, toward Israel and the Palestinians, but he was clearly on the side of peace and on the side of the US. Just not Bush's US. Our US. The one filled with devout Christians and Jews and Muslims and religious folks of all kinds. The US filled with people who love and value peace and care for people who are oppressed by powerful nations.

Like our powerful nation.

We desperately need good men like Khalidi who will speak the truth and hold up the mirror so that we can see what our country is doing. Not just from behind our eyes, but from the view of the people who own the backyards our troops are in.

I hope Barack Obama brings Professor Khalidi into the cabinet as Secretary of State. I hope he's all over CNN. I hope his leadership is just the very kind that we are lucky enough to have in an Obama administration.

Maybe, just maybe, we in this privileged, mostly white, mostly Christian country can learn to leave behind prejudice that this Governor is preying on. We can learn that wonderful Americans can have the name Rashid Khalidi or Barack Obama and be ten fold the American of Joe Six-pack who seems, from all evidence, to care only for himself.

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