It’s the morning after. I’m With Her feminists are rejoicing; Feel the Bern progressives are hurting; and, Muslim Americans are hurting too. The day history was made at the Democratic National Convention marking the first time a woman has been nominated for President was also the day her party relegated all Muslim Americans as simply pawns in the political process.
It was the mid 1980s when I first earned the right to vote in America by virtue of turning 18. My father who escaped communism and gave up the right to see his family for 20 years — did so to enjoy religious freedom and to exercise his right to vote. Voting was never taken lightly in my household growing up in Chicago. It was respected as a right people sacrificed and died for. No matter how broken our election process is — I will always cast my vote.
In the 1990s as a young adult, I voted for Bill Clinton who espoused my Muslim-based, liberal views on helping people succeed in life. His youthfulness reminded me of the Camelot years that preceded my birth — but that I was reminded of by an old black and white Polaroid of my immigrant parents standing in the kitchen with a framed picture of JFK behind them. Though I’ve never affiliated with a political party officially and never will — I have primarily voted democrat due to the ideals that aid the struggling, working class American.
I idealized Bill Clinton in my younger years after he passed the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA.) Working in the Human Resources industry, I was affected by this act at work as I sold organizations HCM technology that administered approved-leave for employees with sick children or illnesses they themselves were battling. This act preserved a person’s job if there was a medical emergency. My family benefited from it as well. Without FMLA, my brothers and I would not have been able to stand at my father’s death bed for the hours, days and weeks that we did in his final days, surrounding him as he took his last breath. I have cried thankful tears over the gift of FMLA that Bill Clinton gave to Americans — that he gave to my family — feeling thankful for it for nearly 20 years now.