The stigmatizing of Arab Americans is reaching new lows this election season.
In West Virginia, Republican Spike Maynard, a guy in the pocket of big coal, is challenging incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall, whose grandparents came here from Lebanon.
A group calling itself the West Virginia Conservative Foundation, with close ties to the state Republican Party, has been running an ad that makes an issue out of simply being Arab-American.
It quotes Rahall as saying, "I proudly chaired the Arab Americans for Obama campaign nationwide group, dedicated to mobilizing Arab-Americans and bringing light to those issues we care about."
Right after that, a narrator comes in and says, "Call Nick Rahall and tell him what you care about."
And all the while, the background music gets creepier and creepier.
So let’s look at this. If you replaced Arab Americans in the ad with Italian Americans, or Irish Americans, or Jewish Americans, all groups that have historically been discriminated against here, there’d be a national uproar over this.
But I’ve barely heard a peep about it, except over at Huffington Post.
When we ignore bigotry, we let it fester.
And when a political group thinks it can gain votes by sullying an entire group of Americans simply on the basis of their origins, we’ve fallen pretty far down into the tar pit.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his article "Obama Late to Worry about Left."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter