Tom Brokaw visits the grave of Kareem Khan at Arlington National Cemetery. (NBC)
Tom Brokaw visits the grave of Kareem Khan at Arlington National Cemetery. (NBC)

In response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to keep all Muslims from entering the U.S., veteran NBC newsman Tom Brokaw delivered the following commentary on Dec. 8.

= * =

Donald Trump’s promise to ban all Muslims from coming to America is more — much more — than a shouted campaign provocation. Trump’s statement, even in this season of extremes, is a dangerous proposal that overrides history, the law, and the foundation of America itself. In my lifetime alone, we have been witnesses to the consequences of paranoia overriding reason.

During World War II, law-abiding Japanese American citizens were herded into remote internment camps, losing their jobs, businesses, and social standing, while an all-Japanese American division fought heroically in Europe.

At the same time in Germany, a regime that declared war on its own citizens if they were Jewish. And Germany paid the ultimate price — defeat and history’s condemnation.

But after the war, America still had to learn about demagoguery the hard way. Sen. Joe McCarthy’s reckless anti-communist witch hunt, making ever more outrageous claims, damaging reputations …

All of that while African Americans, whose ancestors came here as slaves, were treated as second- or even third-class citizens in uniform and out.

Yes, the jihadists are radical Muslims. But they’re a minority in a world with a billion and a half Muslims. Even so, defeating ISIS will be long, hard and expensive. Perhaps more so now because ISIS is likely to use Donald Trump’s as a recruiting tool.

Kareem Khan, a Muslim, responded to a different kind of recruiting — 9/11. An American citizen, he joined the American Army to show that not all Muslims are fanatics. He was killed in Iraq in 2007 by an IED, just 20 years old.

Mr. Trump cannot exclude him from America. He has a permanent home here in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.