Kia Makarechi | July 28, 2016 | Vanity Fair
“Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America.”
On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, the party doubtless hoped to rally as many people as possible around the cause of its nominee, Hillary Clinton. But before Clinton took the stage Thursday, two parents took to the microphone to deliver a stirring rebuke of her opponent, Donald Trump.
Khizr Khan lost his son, Captain Humayun Khan, when the younger Khan died while protecting his Army unit in Iraq in 2004. Clinton had previously delivered a stirring remembrance of the younger Khan, a video of which was played at the D.N.C.
“Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country,” Khan said, his hand over his heart. “We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams.
“Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son ‘the best of America,’” Khan continued. “If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.”
The crowd was already enthralled, but Khan was just warming up. “Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future,” he said, growing visibly emotional. “Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’”
Khan pulled a pocket copy of the Constitution out of his blazer’s chest pocket, and continued: “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.”
Trump has repeatedly claimed that U.S. Muslims know about terrorist activities and don’t alert authorities. He has called for a ban on all Muslim immigration and for surveillance on mosques. He has accused President Barack Obama, a Hawaii-born Christian, of being a Kenyan-born Muslim. And he doesn’t mean it as a compliment.
The billionaire also loves to point out that he has sacrificed a great deal by putting his business career on hold to run for office. Khan did not suffer the insult, and offered this rebuke: “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Khan’s speech may have prompted some viewers to Google “register to vote,” but other D.N.C. observers didn’t get to see this everyday example of immigrant patriotism. Those observers were watching Fox News, which reportedly didn’t carry the speech.