Editorial by the Yemeni American News
There are the obvious reasons for our community. Because he is a capable Arab, Muslim candidate running for the highest office in the state in the age of racism and Islamophobia. Because our children can look up to him and repeat Langston Hughes famous words: “I, too, sing America.”
But beyond his Arabic name and Muslim faith, Abdul El-Sayed is the best candidate for Michigan.
We are not only an ethnic, immigrant community. We are a working class community that has been chasing the increasingly elusive American Dream. We are a young community with children in underfunded public schools.
Arab Americans are coming to the realization that education is the best way to protect our community and thrive in our new American home.
El-Sayed’s promise for affordable college education can help ensure a brighter future for everyone in the state, especially in our less affluent neighbourhoods, where parents cannot afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids to good universities.
When the Flint water crisis poisoned thousands of children, it took the state weeks to provide Arabic resources to the city’s Arab families. Our people in the Southend know well that pollution disproportionately impact poor people of color.
El-Sayed wants to protect our air and waters because he knows that corporate profit is not worth compromising public health and endangering our future on this planet.
Michigan families have been under immense pressure from outrageous insurance prices that impede social and physical mobility. Non-driving factors like education level and credit scores should never be considered by insurance firms. El-Sayed has pledged to stand up to these companies and their powerful lobbies to guarantee that we don’t pay more for our poverty.
He will not be puppet to corporations because he refused to take their money for his campaign.
There are concerns about El-Sayed’s young age and lack of political experience, but the fact of the matter remains that the “experienced” politicians who have been running Lansing have also run the state to the pothole-ridden ground. Barack Obama had been a senator for two years when he ran for president.
Qualification is not measured by age. El-Sayed has shown his executive abilities when he fixed the Detroit health department. His status as an outsider gives him an edge over politicians who are shackled by their commitments to special interest groups.
El-Sayed is proud of his heritage and community. He speaks unapologetically of his Egyptian roots because America is a place for everyone. His name speaks for itself.
On Tuesday, August 7, we have a chance to make history – to elect one of our own to the governor’s mansion. But we won’t be only voting for the Arab, Muslim candidate. We will be voting for the best candidate in the race.
For that to happen, everyone needs to participate. Casting your vote is not enough. Take your family members to the polls. Call your friends. Spread the word.
El-Sayed’s campaign estimates that only 500,000 votes will be cast in the Democratic primaries. Our community can be the difference maker in this election. Let’s do it.