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How Not to Be a Georgia Peach: Call Refugee and Activist ‘Terrorist’

How Not to Be a Georgia Peach: Call Refugee and Activist ‘Terrorist’

Sehar Hekmati, an Afghan refugee and Republican party activist, is suing Georgia GOP officials for defamation after being called a “terrorist” and a “felon.

Sigh. Stay classy, Georgia.

The lawsuit was filed last week against three women, two of whom were Henry County, Georgia Republican officials. Those two are Eleanor Smith and Vicki Temple of the Republican Women of Henry County. Even though Hekmati has lived in the United States for more than 10 years and has been an active and dedicated Republican party member doesn’t mean she’s…worthy of respect, I guess?

I have to be honest here. I think the news stories on this event are burying the lede. This is a female, Afghan refugee who is into Republican party politics. What is happening? My world view is crashing down around me! Help!

I kid, of course. Hekmati is clearly no slouch. In fact, her district nominated her to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention! Even my bleeding heart thinks that’s pretty cool. But, evidently, some people are appealing that move and verbal attacks against Hekmati are escalating.

There is a part of me that thinks, ‘Well, people involved in politics can be jerks. Maybe these people are just being jerks.’ But it seems that there are definite racial overtones. As reported in The Raw Story, Smith was a supporter of Newt “Moonbase” Gingrich, the man who compared supporting the Ground Zero Mosque to Nazis. Temple appears to be a supporter of Herman “Pokemon” Cain, who thinks the majority of Muslims hold “extremist views.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the alleged “terrorist” and “felon” remarks were racially motivated. At least, not consciously, but it’s also not an unreasonable conclusion to draw. I simply can’t believe that calling an Afghan refugee a terrorist was not meant to evoke post 9-11 Islamophobia. It is, at best, an unbelievable thoughtless comment and an example of privilege at work. At worst, it’s flagrant racism.

Whatever it is, I think we can all agree that it was a wicked stupid thing to say. Hekmati was accused of being things she isn’t. She isn’t a terrorist. She isn’t a felon. This is enough to bring a defamation case in Georgia. For the case, the motivations of the defendants doesn’t really matter. But if we as Americans are interested in making the world a better place, maybe it’s time to take a good, long look into the depths of our souls and figure some stuff out.

Related posts:

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Image credit: Meneer Zjeroen

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17 comments

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2:58PM PDT on May 10, 2012

Let's start by getting rid of Obama! DO NOT RE-ELECT OBAMA!

7:35AM PDT on May 10, 2012

‘Afghan ‘ does not equal “terrorist”. It does imply “Islamist”, which means intending to force the entire world to accept Sharia law or Islam, and that is not only admitted but trumpeted. An Afghan woman should, and perhaps does, know better, because of the horrendous existence for women there, If you don’t see Islam as much of a threat to your freedom as Nazism, you are living in a dream world. By the way, Islam is not a race.

7:20AM PDT on May 10, 2012

@! Wesley S.. “what the HECK are you rambling about?” I suggest a remedial English language course, Wesley.

5:03AM PDT on May 10, 2012

It says a lot about her that she is, and has been, a Republican activist. She shouldn't be surprised to be targeted by her own party since she must also hold many of the same views as they do, but just against everyone else. Hard to have any sympathy for her.

12:53AM PDT on May 10, 2012

@Margaret G. Something like that was going on in Kosovo in the build-up to the war. One of my wife's relatives was told she wouldn't have any problems (e.g. could keep her job) if she took a Serbian name.

6:18PM PDT on May 9, 2012

"But it seems that there are definite racial overtones. As reported in The Raw Story, Smith was a supporter of Newt “Moonbase” Gingrich, the man who compared supporting the Ground Zero Mosque to Nazis."

But.....Newt is the Nazi....how can he say something like that?


5:30PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Ernest R - what the HECK are you rambling about? Your post makes no sense.

5:07PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Where do these idiots come from that think the US is going to be subjected to Sharia law? And for that matter, why is that supposed to be any worse than the American Taliban - you know, those control freaks telling women how and when to reproduce, telling all of us under what conditions we are allowed to have sex, informing us that we are not entitled to health care and to work longer hours at jobs that were exported years ago, and shredding the Bill of Rights.
Teabagger, Islamofascist, potato, potahto.

3:17PM PDT on May 9, 2012

@ Robin T,, “instead they thought to score a few cheap points with the Islamophobes.” Maybe they thought the US already has enough huddled masses and decided against siding with the Islamophiles. You just won’t be satisfied until the US is under Sharia law, will you ?






2:09PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Hurrah for the Great White Repugnant Party.

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