For many who watched the Democratic National Convention this week, the moment that Khizr and Ghazala Khan told the story of their son – a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier - was the ultimate takedown of the Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Their son was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America. If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, and even his own party leadership. Donald Trump loves to build walls and ban us from this country.”
As most of us know, Trump has vowed to construct a wall along the US Southern border because Mexico (and presumably all of the countries south of that border) is allowing "people that have lots of problems" including rapists, drug runners, and other criminals to come to America.
He compared this mass migration as "a tremendous infectious disease..pouring across the border."
Many of his supporters have accepted this attempt at dehumanization as an undeniable truth, which pits "us" (native -born Americans) against "them," (the immigrant class.) As bombastic as it might seem, Trump's opinion, in fact, represents (more or less) the accepted position of the Republican party.
An Orphan, A Street Child, and a Survivor
Standing with his wife on stage, Khizr Khan looked into the camera and asked Mr. Trump directly:
"Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America — you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities."
Like the story of Humayun S.M. Khan, the tragic story of Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez also deserves our attention. Twenty-two year old Gutierrez earned the distinction of being one of the first US soldiers to die in the Iraq war.
That distinction is, however, only half of the story.
In fact, the Guatemala-born Gutierrez was not yet an American citizen at the time of his death. And so, you will not find his grave in Arlington Cemetary.