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August 26, 2008

Minority groups represent at the Dem Convention

There are about 200 outside events going on in the four days of the Denver National Democratic Convention. (On Monday alone, there were no less than 84).

New congressional lobbying rules require that these events- which are organized by corporations, unions, political caucuses and other interest groups- don’t honor just one individual candidate or elected official in particular, but rather a larger group or theme. Finger food abounds, as the rules also prevent organizations from giving full meals to Congress or their staff for free.

Among the deluge of public and VIP hoorahs scheduled, a total of fifteen are sponsored by ethnic/racial minority groups. Leading the pack is the Congressional Black Caucus, followed by Hispanic American, Asian American, and Native American events.

The Arab American Institute, Jim Zogbys organization, held a comparatively less political celebration of Americans of Arab and Iranian decent. Last night’s “Comedy Kabob,” which featured our beloved axis of evil star Maz Jobrani, offered both a hilarious commentary on our bungled middle east policy and a not too subtle reminder of the importance of this election.

On Monday, The Washington Post dedicated a whole layout to the issue of race in the Obama presidential candidacy. It credited the campaign for making incredible inroads for the next generation of America’s black leaders. I talked to a group of delegates yesterday that thought that it could have similar benefits for the Iranian-American community. It will be interesting to find out.

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