UPDATE, OCT. 20, 9:40 A.M.: Before Khizr Khan’s appearance in Anaheim on Saturday, he sat down with NPR News’ Steve Inskeep as part of the promotion for the Gold Star Father’s new book An American Family: A Memoir of Hope of Sacrifice.
Inskeep seized the opportunity to ask what was wrong with Donald Trump’s remark to the widow of Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson. (That her son “knew what he signed up for.”)
“Everything. Every word is wrong. Every word is wrong,” Khan tells Inskeep. “These men and women, my sons and daughters, signed up for something more than this president can comprehend. This is beyond his comprehension, patriotism, sacrifice. When John McCain sacrificed so much to serve this country, this president ran away. This president ran away from serving.”
“He did not serve in Vietnam,” Inskeep interjects.
“He does not have the capacity to understand what it takes to serve this nation in harm’s way,” Khan continues. “These men and women went, he, by default, he is their commander in chief, these are his sons and daughters, how dare he disrespect, how dare he utters a word of disrespect, indignity. There should be empathy, there should be support, there should be dignity of not only their sacrifice, but their family’s sacrifice. Every word that should come out of his mouth should dignify those wonderful brave family members that now have to bear the burden of that sacrifice, but this nation dignifies them regardless of the behavior of the president, this nation honors them, honors their sacrifice, honors the sacrifice of those four brave men that went to defend our democracy, our liberty. This nation honors them, honors their families. They’re the best of this nation.”
Hear the full interview on Monday’s Morning Edition.
ORIGINAL POST, OCT. 18, 6:38 A.M.: Surely you recall the Muslim American Gold Star Father who whipped out his pocket-sized version of the U.S. Constitution as he shamed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Khizr Khan’s next speaking gig is during a GOP convention in Anaheim.
According to organizers, Khan will be addressing the National Union of Healthcare Workers on Saturday a block from the site of the California Republican Party’s fall convention.
The state GOP convention is at the Anaheim Marriott. The National Union of Healthcare Workers annual leadership conference is at the Sheraton Park Hotel. Both ring Disneyland, proving once again it is a small world after all.
“It’s an honor for us to have an American hero like Khizr Khan address our members,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli says in the announcement. “At a moment when the underpinnings of our democracy appear to be weakening, Mr. Khan’s call for vigilance and sacrifice in defense of our constitution and its values is a message all of us need to hear.”
However, it remains to be seen whether the father of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in an Iraq explosion in 2004, can recapture the drama he created on July 28, 2016, which was the final day of the Democratic National Convention.
With his wife Ghazala in traditional dress next to him, Khizr Khan reacted to the GOP nominee’s proposed Muslim immigration ban by taking out his copy of the Constitution and saying, “Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words ‘liberty’ and ‘equal protection of law.’
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing—and no one.”
Trump reacted with his by-now-all-too-familiar tone deafness (“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. … I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot”) and Islamaphobia (“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably—maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me”).
The Sheraton Park Hotel is at 1855 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim. Khan is scheduled to speak to conference attendees at noon Saturday before facing the media. Two days later—on Tuesday, United Nations Day—comes the release of his new book An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice. Hopefully someone sends Trump a copy, although more his speed may be This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father, Khan’s children’s book being released the same day.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.