(11/23/16 – ATLANTA, GA) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today visited Morehouse College to participate in a post-election panel discussion moderated by journalist Rose Scott of WABE.
Panelists included CNN commentator Angela Rye, Emory University Professor Andra Gillespie, Morehouse Political Science professors Illya Davis and Levar Smith, and CAIR-GA executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, a 2009 graduate of Morehouse.
Students, faculty and staff crowded into the Bank of America Auditorium on Tuesday night to listen to the conversation, which was titled “Election Reflection: Trump Won. Now What?”
The Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program, led by sports journalist and professor Ron Thomas, hosted the panel discussion.
Morehouse College Summary
Panelist Edward Ahmed Mitchell, a Muslim-American attorney and executive director of the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA), said Trump won the Republican primary off of Hispanic and Muslim backs.
“Donald Trump is – I won’t say he’s an evil genius, but he is a very effective ‘politician,’ ” Mitchell said. “He played off the fears of people who wanted to hear negatives about Muslims and immigrants and won the primary. He went to the general election and still said some crazy things but he mainly focused on economic message and directed it to the states that won and put him over the top.”
Mitchell stated that Trump made Hispanics and Muslims fearful by threatening to monitor mosques and deport millions of Hispanic Americans. Trump has repeatedly called for the banning of Muslims in this country.
“I’m not that concerned about the Electoral College or the next election,” Mitchell said. “I’m concerned about the next four years because even if Donald Trump said crazy things in the primary to get votes, he is now putting into his cabinet and staff people who really believe what he says – people who really do believe Muslims are a threat to this country, people who really want to deport 11 million Hispanic Americans.”
While many Muslim Americans are fearful of what Trump will do during his administration, Mitchell remains positive.
“As a Muslim American, going through the additional seven stages of grief on the night of the election, my frame of mind now is ‘Bring it on,’ ” Mitchell said. “Let’s get ready for the next four years. Because I think as Hillary Clinton said, ‘When someone tells you what they believe, who they are, believe it.’ ”
Mitchell said that a group of Muslim Americans are planning to reach out to Trump with an open hand because the Quran says, “Good and evil cannot be equal. Respond with something wrong with something better. If Trump plans to monitor mosques, denigrate Muslims, and to try to deport hard-working Hispanic Americans, then CAIR and the NAACP are prepared to do what they have to do.
“We may have a new president, but we do not have a new Constitution,” Mitchell said. “This is still America, and I still have the right to be proudly and publicly Muslim, and I will do so.”