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Was it easier to be Middle Eastern' in the Bush era?

I haven't read Porochista Khakpour's novel Sons and Other Flammable Objects.  And she's not exactly paying compliments to conservatives in the New York Times this weekend. But she raises a question I hadn't considered before:

A deep dark admission: lately — and by lately I mean this era I worked so hard for, when a liberal person of color, a man who resembles my own father, would be our president — I’ve found myself thinking secretly, were certain things better in the George W. Bush era? Was it easier to be Middle Eastern then?        

Khakpour was born in Iran and raised in California. She's NOT Muslim. And she's not timid.

She recalls what President Bush said at the Islamic Center of Washington a few days after 9/11:

“Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger don’t represent the best of America, they represent the worst of humankind.” He added: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.” Did that assurance mean more to white Americans coming from someone who looked like them?

Read her full column here.

One last thing…
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