Meet A. Abushanab, a young mother and a wife. She is of Arab decent and lives in Louisiana with her lovely family. She is articulate, intelligent, educated, and passionate. She loves her husband, her country, her children, and her extended family. She also made her voice heard when she voted for Donald Trump. And yes, she’s one of the many Americans Democrat Hillary Clinton placed in her “basket of deplorables.”
Abushanab, as we will refer to her throughout, is a descendent from Jordan and has a largely Muslim extended family. Speaking with her is a pleasure as she has a quick sense of humor and is very informed and thoughtful. A primary concern that Abushanab expresses is the loss of jobs she has witnessed in her community and with many she knows. She is grateful that her husband has retained his job, but says she has seen too many others that have not kept their jobs. Her greatest wish is when her children come of age, that there will be jobs to be had for them and opportunities. Abushanab’s concern for those outside of her immediate family is evident in the passionate vigor of her voice, they too deserve the American dream of working hard for themselves and achieving their dreams.
Her experiences with Middle Eastern and Muslim dominant countries are ones that many of us will never understand or experience ourselves. She speaks of extended family members whose wives are still not allowed to look them in the eye and woman being beaten out in the streets, because they allowed themselves to be raped. Abushanab’s father wanted her to stay in the United States instead of Jordan, as she had no rights as a female and would not have the future that the United States could provide for her. The dangers that immigrants from the middle eastern countries that have strong terrorism ties pose to us is real she tells me, “If they cannot convert you they kill you, that’s it, and many people who have never lived in these area’s, they don’t understand.” She wants a future in this country where her daughters can have the same opportunities as her sons and not become property. It’s not just extremists in these countries, she explains the everyday people who live there and believe strongly in Islam will beat their wives if they are raped, will let girls be married off at young ages, it’s a central aspect of their culture. Supporting immigration screening and keeping those that believe that women and children have no rights out of this country is also about protecting those that came here to get away from that, those that came here to not live in real fear any longer.
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Abushanab tells a story of Donald Trump coming to Louisiana where she lives and helping with relief efforts after the flooding, “He stayed all day and helped many people get what they needed to recover and then, when the day was done, he went to church with all of us, but you didn’t see the media show that. He is not racist. I have experienced real racism, and he is not that. He cares about every single American or why would he not take a salary to do this very stressful job?”
Abushanab wants to see America be great again, she wants jobs back in this country even though her family is fully provided for, she wants it for other Americans. She wants to see this country continue to be one that protects woman and children and enforces its immigration laws to do so. She wants people to know that the mistreatment of women throughout Muslim nations is real and that those immigrating do not have to be terrorists to believe that women and children have no rights. At her absolute core this woman is a loving, kind, caring person who has other’s best interests at heart. Her first-hand perspective is something that must not be ignored. Abushanab’s perspective of why the dangers of open borders is something that we cannot ignore.
Prior to the election, Abushanab describes being attacked with racial slurs and degrading comments, but she says it wasn’t Trump supporters that targeted her. It was Hillary supporters. She was undecided to begin with and she participated in several forums that supported Hillary. When she tried to describe to fellow participants her real life experiences with Middle-eastern countries they turned on her and called her terms like “Towel Head” and “Camel Jockey,” hate she says she had never experienced while interacting with Trump supporters. Trying to understand their irrational and hateful reaction to her speaking about first-hand experiences is part of what lead her to first support Trump and the more she learned the more she supported him. He cares about all American’s she assures me, not just one group or another, every single one of us.
Abushanab is a self-proclaimed “deplorable” but in reality, she is an American who wants her voice and her concerns heard. She wants to know that her country will continue to protect her from what her father made sure she did not have to grow up in. She wants her children and her neighbor’s children to have opportunities. Don’t silence her because you don’t like her truths, or those like her. Her perspective is one that needs to be heard by all Americans, especially those that represent us.
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