It was tough being Arab American when Sami Bishara Mashney immigrated to the United States at age 23, during the height of the Iran-hostage crisis. He actually had to go Greek for awhile for his own safety.
Of course, it's no picnic being Arab American now, which is why Mashney holds so much respect for those who embrace their national identities while living as free citizens. And, as the Anaheim-based editor of the Independent Monitor ("The National Newspaper of Arab Americans") writes in a recent opinion piece, it is why he holds so much contempt for Costa Mesa Mayor Allan Mansoor.
See, the title of Mashney's article is, "Allan Mansoor, Self-hating man."
That label is based on Mansoor, who descends from an Arab father and a Swedish mother, writing on his blog: "My father, though born in Egypt and with an Arabic name, was greatly influenced by European culture," and "I am taking exception to being classified as 'one of three Arab-American candidates in city elections.'"
These statements, in Mashney's view, make Mansoor unfit to represent the 68th Assembly District, which is why the editor is ditching the GOP nominee and supporting Democrat Phu Nguyen, "a candidate who is not afraid to refer to himself as a 'Vietnamese' American."
"As we say in Arabic, he who forgets his origin has no origin," Mashney writes. "That is the case of Allan Mansoor, who, in pursuit of success and influence, made the conscious decision to deny his origin, just like Peter and Judas denied Christ. Peter repented and went to heaven. Will Mansoor repent and stop denying his Arabic heritage?!"
Probably not, considering the anti-Mexican, white-supremacist, tan-man-fearing crowds Mansoor runs around with.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Nguyen, meanwhile, has shown he not only embraces his own heritage, he has--unlike actual Arab American Mansoor--been supportive of the drive to have a section of the city of Anaheim designated as "Little Arabia."
You can almost hear Orange Juice blogger Gabriel San Roman licking his chops as he introduces his readers to the piece by Mashney, who founded the Network of Arab-American Professionals of Orange County. (And, it must be noted, San Roman got there before Navel Gazing, so a tip of the turban to you, sir!)
"Unlike Nguyen, the Costa Migra Mayor has angered many Latinos over the years with his stupid anti-immigrant policies in the city and is increasingly drawing the ire of Arab-Americans for the white-washing of his own background," San Roman writes. "Could Mansoor be a great flash point for the coming of a political alliance between OC Latinos and Arab-Americans that I so desire? Let's hope so and discuss possibilities over hummus y guacamole!"
Hell, invite Nguyen over, too, and tell him to bring the phở.