Ruben Navarrette, a national recognized syndicated writer, published a syndicated column, “Have We Lost Sight of an American Hero?” which appeared in the Ventura County Star, August 3, 2016. I had a preview of it the night before, and I asked him to please retract. But no, like all journalists out there, he rose to the occasion but unfortunately chose the wrong topic. He went after the golden opportunity, the Khans, the Gold Star parents of Army Captain Humayun S. M. Khan who gave his life for our freedom, June 8, 2004.
In his column, Navarrette writes that he wished the Khans, instead of speaking against Trump at the DNC Convention, had shared with the nation the life of their son, and he’s right because that’s what they did months earlier. On Dec 8, 2015, Vocativ.com published a heartfelt interview with the Khans which it appears now that Navarrette, like many of us, missed it. Why? On December 2015 we were so wrapped up with 16 GOP contenders going after each other on national stage but not Hillary Clinton. She was (her team) doing what a journalist team does by subscribing to every news feeds out there, and that’s how she found the Khans. I don’t blame her, she did what an experienced candidate does, approached them. Republican candidate, Donald Trump would have done the same if he cared, but his arrogance and the “I alone can do it” attitude is what’s destroying any good intentions he has, if any. The man doesn’t see beyond his forehead!
Journalism comes with a price, responsibility. Navarrette’s syndicated column about the Khans is insensitive and bias. His thoughts on paper reach millions of readers around the globe, so I couldn’t sit back, relax and not offer another perspective. The Khans spoke about their son nine months ago. No one heard them. The Khans were presented with an opportunity to deliver their pain on a national stage at the DNC Convention in Philadelphia, and they took it; why not?
I sincerely appreciate Mr. and Mrs. Khan’s courage, sense of patriotism, and admiration for a country we all love deeply. If it wasn’t for their appearance at the DNC convention, and honestly sharing their feelings, we would have never known how disappointed they are with a man who wants to hold the highest office in the land. Donald Trump wants to be president of all people in the United States, but not to those who share not his Christian faith. He wants Muslins like the Khans to be separated from all of us like Hitler saw to do with the Jews. So the Khans, in their humble and sincere demeanor, they spoke, loud and clear, and we all heard their cry. But there are many like Navarrette who do not think so. No, they believe that the Khans took advantage of the national stage, the opportunity to be an overnight celebrity when they are far from it!
I recalled a group of Republican Hispanics national figures taking the national stage in October 2015, in Colorado to denounce Trump’s racist remarks against Mexican unauthorized immigrants. I know several of them, we worked together in the past on several Republicans campaigns, but I didn’t see Ruben Navarrette criticizing them for taking advantage of a “national stage” to make a big deal about their feelings. Did you?
I consider the Khans had the utmost and deserved right to speak up to the entire nation so we can share some of their burdens. I find their ultimate sacrifice, the loss of their son for us; the pain inflicted upon them by Trump’s anti-Muslin mission, and the war that Trump has established against their faith, justification enough to speak to our nation. After all, Cpt. Khan died for us. But, it appears to me, that Ruben Navarrette, doesn’t feel the same.
However, it is a free country. There are those like U.S. Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan who consistently put their life at risk so the likes of Ruben Navarrette can write against their parents’ sacrifice or advice on how they should go about sharing their stories when they become, unfortunately, Gold Star parents.
My son serves in the military. I am extremely proud of him, and as a military father, but God forbid, I standby to accept my ultimate sacrifice. So, if I were a Gold Star parent, I would have done the same. Their story needs national attention to keep us all accountable and remind us that freedom comes at a high price tag, and none of us have the right to criticize how we share our pain. It is called awareness; just as a breast cancer survivor shares her or his story. Trump is our nation’s Carcinoma.