Mrs. Ghazala Khan, the mother of deceased soldier Humayun Khan, spoke out early yesterday in a letter to The Washington Post after she was criticized by Trump for having “nothing to say” at the Democratic National Convention, where her husband, Mr. Khizr Khan, addressed the crowd. Trump said he would have liked to hear her speak, but not before suggesting that it was Islam which restricted her from doing so.
In her response, Mrs. Ghazala Khan explained that her silence was a result of her grief that has lasted twelve years since she lost her son to the Iraq war in 2004. She asked:
“Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?”
“Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.”
Donald Trump’s insensitive response to Mr. Khans speech at the DNC brought national attention to his longstanding lack of empathy and highlighted his tendency to lash out at any given criticism.
The Republican nominee and his supporters are only widening the holes already gaping in his campaign – neither seem to understand that being a president requires more than just a show of power and politics.
It requires the ability to show empathy, stand in solidarity with your citizens, and to offer hope and support when the time comes, along with being able to accept constructive criticism and speak with poise under pressure – all traits which Trump has unabashedly set aside since the get-go.