A grieving father makes the case for inclusion
No matter how you feel about Hillary Clinton, having a woman accept, for the first time, a major U.S. party’s nomination for the presidency was an extraordinary thing.
She delivered her acceptance speech after a roster of music, emotional endorsements and tributes, including a touching introduction by her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.
But in the march to the main event, one short set of remarks stood out. They were delivered by grieving father Khizar Khan, who stood with his wife Ghazala, and made sure Donald Trump understood the true case for diversity.
Their son, Army Captain Humayun S. M. Khan, was killed June 8, 2004, by a suicide bomber while fighting in Iraq. Captain Khan is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, and was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He was an ordnance officer, and so much more.
I took a moment to read the official record of his death, service and interment at Arlington Cemetery. I’m glad I did. It offered a moving tribute from a grateful nation, but also clues to the spirit of inclusion that Captain Khan was able to cultivate within his command.
The official record also includes a republished story from The Washington Post, “A Peacemaker is Laid to Rest.” There were more details of his service, including his work training Iraqis for security jobs, and specifically, the care he took of his charges in his final moments.
I’d like to believe it was a similar strength that propelled Mr. Khan to stand at a podium on national television, pull a copy of the Constitution out of his pocket and tell a candidate who purports to believe the worst of his Muslim family, that he wasn’t afraid either.
Said Mr. Khan:
Sometimes inclusion needs a strong defense.
Programming note: I’ll be on vacation next week, and my wonderful colleague Jeremy Quittner will be filling in. He’s got great things planned. Please keep those tips and suggestions coming in to raceAhead@newsletters.fortune.com
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