Congressman Emmanuel and President-Elect Obama:
(Sorry I've been a little bit quiet. I've been busy)
Well, for Palestinians I fear that the bloom is already off the rose. President-Elect Obama has appointed Rahm Emmanuel to be his Chief of Staff. Emanuel's father's response: "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."
All right, then. That's not okay.
I wrote Obama a letter. You can too.
Dear Mr. President-Elect
I can't tell you how excited I was on November 4th to see you by elected our president. I'm living in Chicago right now and my friends keep bringing me to tears by telling me the stories of their night at Grant Park. I felt that it was inevitable that we would have one day a black person as our president, but I never believed that we could elect a community organizer. As some one who has done that sort of work myself, you've lifted my spirits in ways I never expected.
I'm writing you, though, because I am so profoundly sadden the statements made by Congressman Emmauel's father. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House." That's not appropriate. It has no place in your administration or any other. It's not why young people, like me, worked so hard to elect you. Please address this publicly and promptly.
I also want let you know that I am well aware that you know what is happening in Palestine, that you know that the way the Palestinians people are being treated is wrong, and that you want to see it stop, for the good of everyone in the region. I just want to remind you that because you do know what is going on, I sincerely believe you will be held morally accountable for what you do (or do not do) about this problem. You can't hide behind ignorance.
Thank you so much.