Saturday, February 06, 2010

A Riot in the Shami Campaign?

I am not at all concerned with this fracas that has emerged in the Farouk Shami campaign because as you can see from the thumbnail on the left, I support Bill White for Democratic nominee for Texas Governor. But just as I was rapt with attention as news came out of infighting in the campaign of Hillary Clinton a couple of years ago, I am now amazed at some inconsistencies within the Shami campaign that now appear to be coming out.

The Dallas Morning News came out today with a story on how the mainstream media is being labeled as racist from within the campaign.

From the Dallas Morning News:
“Shami campaign director Vince Leibowitz said that the Houston businessman has been treated differently, that he has a compelling story of success, and that he has ideas for Texas that are not being adequately covered by the news media.”

“Leibowitz said many news stories point out that Shami was born outside of the U.S., yet the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't merit such attention when he was running for governor in California.”
“Leibowitz also said that the Anderson County Democratic Party chairman displayed obvious racism when he sent the Shami campaign an e-mail last week that said ‘nobody is going to vote for anyone named Farouk’ in today's post- 9/11 political climate.”

“The campaign manager also took issue with the Statesman's recent editorial interview with Shami, who was asked about state government in a rapid-fire series of questions. While Shami knew the state budget, he failed to recall that Susan Combs is the state comptroller and Greg Abbott is the attorney general.”

“His inability to name state officeholders became a news story.”

“‘The Austin American-Statesman put him literally through a police-style interrogation asking him all those questions,’ Leibowitz said. ‘What they did was unconscionable. The question is, did race have something to do with it? Is it because he's a Palestinian-born candidate?’”
All of this, it seems to be stemming from a comment by the candidate himself that when Bill White, in his television ad, mentioned that he was born in San Antonio, Shami said “I take that as a racist comment.”

Meaning, I guess, that since he himself couldn’t claim birth in Texas (as I can’t as well), Bill White’s statement on his birthplace was a racist remark.

How all of that translates to the Texas press also being racist, however, is a little too much for me to take. Dick Nixon finally found out that you can’t get into a pissing contest with the press; the campaign manager of Shami’s foundering campaign should realize that as well.

Because it is not racism to say that there are a lot of Texans with racist tendencies and they will avoid checking off the name Farouk Mohammed Shami just as they disdained the name Barack Hussein Obama.

That’s just common sense.

Statewide, Shami hasn’t a prayer.

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