McClatchy has the article Mitt Romney sets off culture skirmish over Israel economy.
Mitt Romney suggested Monday that Israelis enjoy a better standard of living than neighboring Palestinians do because they have a superior culture and enjoy the “hand of providence.”
One thing I do know, is that I do not want Mitt Romney’s bigotry to represent me and my country to the rest of the world.
I find that if you cannot detect stereotypical, bigoted, racist thinking in your own ideas, then one of the best ways to get woken up is to meet some people who violate your stereotypes very radically. In my life I have had the pleasure of working with and becoming friends with some Palestinians who are the antithesis of Mitt Romney’s pronouncement in every respect.
One friend in particular, that I can think of was raised and educated through undergraduate college in the middle-east. He came to the United States to get a technical PhD from one of the top technical universities in this country.
When he came for a job interview at our company, I was very much in favor of hiring him on my firmly held belief that I liked to hire people smarter than myself. He certainly did not disappoint through his tenure at the company.
He eventually went on to become a professor at a mid-western university. I have a sense of how hard he worked to gain tenure. He guided student’s work in leading edge research so that they could earn their PhD’s. He wrote, co-wrote articles, and presented his and his student’s research at many technical conferences. He had leadership roles in technical organizations, and was a sought after consultant to many of the most prominent technical companies.
What also struck me was his command of the English language. I was struck when he demonstrated better knowledge of both the formal aspects of the language and better knowledge of some of the idioms than I, as a native speaker of English, had.
His compassion for his family and his friends was also remarkable.
When it came time for me to leave the company where we had worked together, he pointed me to contacts at one of the companies where he had consulted. That lead to work that I did as a major part of the rest of my career. That work was related to what I learned from working with him at the previous company.