Politics of Exclusion: Schumer Compares Arab Businessmen to Skinheads

Politics of Exclusion: Schumer Compares Arab Businessmen to Skinheads

March 28th

WASHINGTON- Following the politically charged controversy over the Dubai Ports World deal, both Congressional Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of Arab-baiting, manipulating facts and creating a climate of fear. 

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), however, has taken the shameful debate a step further, likening Arabs to skinheads.

Schumer, New York’s senior senator, was the first to criticize the DP World deal and has been its most vocal opponent. On March 20th, the New York Observer reported that when confronted by journalists who suggested that his opposition to the deal was a result of anti-Arab bias, Senator Schumer responded by saying:

“Let’s say skinheads had bought a company to take over our port,” he said. “I think the outcry would have been the same.”

Senator Schumer’s disgraceful comparison of Arab businessmen to skinheads is deplorable. As Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a committee that provides support to Democratic Senators running for election, Schumer’s irresponsible statement is especially troubling. 

“Senator Schumer’s brazen remark runs contrary to the Democratic Party’s principles of inclusion and diversity,” said AAI Executive Director Nidal Ibrahim. “The Senator owes Arab Americans an apology. Democrats need to recognize that Schumer may do more harm than good if he continues as Chairman of the DSCC.”

Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs.