Titles carry a lot of weight in today’s society. When meeting someone we ask who they are, their place of employment, and their title. Are you a mom? Are you in leadership? How do you identify? I have had the fortunate privilege of serving as a state representative for residents in the great cities of Detroit, River Rouge, and Ecorse. Yet, that’s not the title I was thinking about when I joined 12 other brave women, and interrupted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during his speech at the Detroit Economic Club earlier this month.
Instead the titles that ran through my mind were: American, parent, Muslim, Arab-American, and woman. As I thought about my identities, I felt more and more that confronting Trump was the most patriotic and courageous act I could pursue.
I have heard critics calling it unbecoming of a former state legislator. Well, I believe it is unbecoming of any American to not stand up to Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric and tactics. Growing up the daughter of Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, I was taught about how Walter Reuther, Coleman Young, Rosa Parks, Viola Liuzzo and other great Detroiters risked their lives for justice. I still remember at the age of 12, learning that segregation had been permitted only a couple of decades before I was born and that a woman’s right to vote was not even a century old. But it was great Americans who stood up, some dying for the cause, to make our country better.
Courteous behavior can’t be reserved for someone who labels hardworking Mexican immigrants who have come to pursue the American Dream as “rapists.” Social niceties are not in order for men who would turn away refugees fleeing for their lives based on their faith to have them suffer in camps. And complacency is not warranted for a presidential candidate who denigrates a mother and father who have lost their child in the ultimate sacrifice of military service.
I can’t describe the fear that gripped me when I rose in front of nearly 2,000 professionals at this tony, corporate setting. I watched as Trump supporters taunted the women who stood before me as they were aggressively and briskly led to the exits. I froze, feeling the anger around me that would make anyone tremble. Yet, I could only think of the unwavering love for my two sons to find the courage to do my own part.
Read More: https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/08/24/rashida-tlaib-why-disrupted-donald-trump/89251860/