Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Nativist


As a senior though uncredentialed member of the Mainstream News and Infotainment Media (that's MNIM, pronounced mmm-nim, for short), we must again bound far ahead of the baying pack to boldly point out that the spectre of nativism has reared its somewhat uncomely head* in the Texas gubernatorial race. Given that this year marks the first time that a Palestinian-American Muslim (or ex-Muslim, depending on audience and day of the week) ex-hairdresser-turned-hair-care-products-manufacturer has sought the seat once held by such worthies as "Ma" Ferguson and G.W. Bush, perhaps it was to be expected that some candidate would rise up to declare that he is more of an "American" than the others. Perhaps not as expected, that candidate is not Deborah Medina (she's just like you, FYI) but is none other than Farouk Shami, the Palestinian-American Muslim (or ex-Muslim, depending on etc.) ex-hairdresser-turned-hair-care-products-manufacturer himself.

We first learned of this semi-revoltin' development from the Jan. 15, 2009 edition of the Indo American News [sic, no apparent hyphen], which we procure on a weekly basis while on culinary business in Our Town's newly designated Mahatma Ghandi District. According to the News' extensive page one coverage, Sr. Shami wrapped himself all up in red, white and blue back on Jan. 8, when he declared, "I am more American than others [and added] It is 'old thinking' versus 'new thinking,' and now is the time to make a difference" [punctuation corrected] while speaking to what the publication described as a "small group of influential Asian leasers--many South Asian––and media." The News did not elaborate on the Shami Man's claim, but fortunately Peggy Fikac of the Chronicle picked up the news-and-infotainment baton on Jan, 24 and reported with a straight face that that El Shami
reaches into his business background to discuss his current quest, including when he speaks against the notion that “one person is more … American than the other” based on whether the person was born here.

I would judge it by who pays more taxes, me or Rick Perry? Me or Bill White? Every year, I pay more than they ever made in their life. … And since I'm paying taxes, I'll be careful spending people's taxes.”
So that's it! Well, step to the front of line, Mr. Alleged Inventor of Amonia-Free Hair Lightener and of course the world-famous CHI Flat Iron. Perhaps only Bill Gates and Warren Buffet outrank the Faroukster when it comes to being a red-blooded American, although it's likely they have better tax accountants. (We should point out that as far as we know, no other gubernatorial candidate has raised the Fikac-ian "notion" that "one person is more ... American than the other," including Shami's fellow Democrat, Bill White––most certainly not Bill White. We also call your attention to the fact that Shami is actually running a seriously nasty slash-and-burn campaign against White [although not on the scale or with the interest-generation of the Hutchsion-vs.-Perry doings, of course], including, according to this straight-faced report from the Dallas Morning News, Shami's in-so-many-words accusation that White is a racist. Now we find it humorously ironic when white Democrats are hoisted on their own affirmative-action and identity-politics petards––ask Chris Bell, D-Houston, about his two rough hoistings––but this allegation is just patently ridiculous, undocumented BS, if you'll pardon our language.)

The unhyphenated Indo American News went on to report that while speaking to these influential Asians (we did not see Aloysius D. Hoang among their photographed number, in case you were wondering) and South Asians, Shami also
... reprimanded Governor Rick Perry for being out of touch with common people, citing his $12 million ranch and his son's lavish wedding in Las Vegas.
His son's lavish wedding in Las Vegas** ... yes, we must conclude that Farouk Shami is a real American boy, as acclimated to the soil as any 6th-generation Texas taxpayer, a regular William Jennings Bryan with a CHI Flat Iron.

*As regular and even semi-regular visitors to this place know, we are not of the opinion that "nativism" is an entirely bad thing, and at any rate consider it a poorly understood and badly misused term, facilely employed by agenda-bearing gum-beaters and fund-raising hacks to discredit those who might simply believe that English should be the sole language of instruction in the public schools––it's an assimilatin' thing––or that immigration is fine and even necessary so long as it's legal and accrues some benefit to those of us already here; said gum-beaters' prejudices having been conditioned by passing and superficial understanding of over-simplified and somewhat discredited Hofstadter-ian notions of American history.

**Which speaks to nothing more than Perry's taste, or lack thereof.

Photo above: Shami Does Brooklyn; photo lifted from some Web site about hair care in Brooklyn and used without permission (so sue me).

6 comments:

The Fishing Musician said...

How funny and where do I begin? I can't contest his claim of being "more American" because he pays for taxes than me. As a lowly lifelong non-elected public servant. I guess I just can't hold a candle with my law enforcement contributions to our great state as Farouki.

But as a fifth generation Texan, I can say that Ma AND Pa Ferguson are probably both rolling over in their graves with this assertion, although some would claim Pa needs to do a bit more rollin' to pay the State back for his term of service way back when.

I say, let's have not an election, but a bare knucks fight to see who the "most American" candidate is. Although I suspect that Jimmy Steambarge, the once famous Houston bare knucks champ of the 1950's through 1970's may be too old or even now deceased and unable to officiate such an event, I would gladly stand in as the ringmaster on such an event. I'm sure Slampo would act as announcer if it would help determine the most devoted "American" for this race.

I'd love to see all of the candidates enter the ring, clad in boxer attire, and go at it bare knucks. To be sure, KBH is known for her "pincher" technique, and I'd love to see that up against one of the hair styling self- defense tactics of Farouki.

Really, I tire of the place my beloved State has sometimes become, with folks who have no idea what it takes to be "A Texan". Although I love America, I feel that being "A Texan" is a much more important qualification than being "a better American" for Governor.

Now I must go iron my hair, so I'll bid you goodbye.

Anonymous said...

Farouk’s solution to border control – Grant every undocumented immigrant a US Citizenship who turns in a gang member. What a great idea – Really?

With this high of stakes, what are chances that we would turn the country into a neighborhood watch society similar to
• Gestapo in Nazi Germany
• Stasi in East Germany
• KGB in Soviet Union

Stasi - The Ministry for State Security (East Germany) was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. When part-time informer adults were included, the figures reach approximately one spy per 6.5 citizens. What a Country!

How many informants would be ‘outed’ for the exchange of money and/or protection?
In other words, a society where the citizens are watching their neighbors and reporting them to special government agencies in order to gain personal favors.

Anonymous said...

Who is Farouk Shami? The real issue is not necessarily his religion, but his credibility. Are his Public Statements factual or just Beauty Show hype?

Farouk in San Antonio (10/21/09): “I manage business in 106 countries, I have tens of thousands of employees, and we've brought billions of dollars to the state of Texas,” Shami said.

Fact Check:
• Farouk manufacturers the products and sells them to independent distributors/importers (in US and overseas), who in return sell to the salons. He DOES NOT manage these companies. They are his CUSTOMERS.
• Likewise the employees of these distributors or the salons which use his products are NOT Farouk’s employees.
• Farouk has always claimed that he sells only to the professional hairdressers, yet his products can be found in Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, HEB, as well as discount stores.

Farouk also claims to be a Billionaire, but he is NOT listed on the Forbes List - he has done well for himself, but a billionaire?

Slampo said...

El,
I think the bare-knucks match is an excellent way to weed the pretenders from the contenders. I'd be outting my money, a small sporting wager, on Hutchison, although Perry is the wily sort & that Medina gal seems sorta bulldog-ish. Shami might show, if he's able to wield a flat-iron, but I'm afraid Facebook-ing Bill White would get flattened. -- Fellow 5th Generation Texan

Anon,
"Who is Farouk Shami?" I dunno, but I get the feeling the Bill White opp researchers are about to tell us ... you wouldn't know anything about that, right?
Yr fellow citizen,
S.

Anonymous said...

I don't know anything about Bill White's researchers; however I do know a lot about Farouk - example:

Farouk’s management philosophy includes
• “I conceived it, thus it’s done”, i.e. making a decision tonight and fully expecting it to be implemented before he even talks to anyone – it works in a small entrepreneurial organization where he has the total control and it is his own money – However, how would it work in our democratic form of government?
• In his culture (and business practice) – “cousins” (anyone with Middle Eastern heritage) make no mistakes and family “walks on water” , i.e. the actual professional qualifications are secondary in his mind

pwatkins4 said...

Jimmy Steambarge is alive and well. I saw him a few months ago; I've known him most of my life.