DETROIT — Osama Siblani, publisher of The Arab American News, presented a plaque to the NAACP on Tuesday at the NAACP allies’ meeting which was held at the Detroit Jobs Corp. The plaque commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the NAACP in 2009.
|Siblani presents plaque to NAACP Detroit Director Hester Wheeler.|
Siblani thanked the NAACP on behalf of all Arab Americans for their help in fighting discrimination.
“I am an Arab American, and I believe without the NAACP we would not be here,” he said when presenting the plaque. “September 11th knocked us out. And who pulled us up? The NAACP. 100 years of work cannot be written off.”
Hester Wheeler, executive director of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP, accepted the plaque and referred to Siblani as the most consistent of collaboration partners.
“Our mission is still to eliminate discrimination,” he said to those present, “and something bigger than all of us brought us together. It’s a shame we don’t know each other.”
“People demonize or racialize certain issues, When you think of immigration who do you think of? Mexicans? Terrorism who do you think of? Arabs? Crime? Blacks?” he said. “The NAACP is opposed to discrimination. Period.”
The NAACP is more than African Americans and enforcing the name to those present, Wheeler did the math. “We say African Americans are only 14% of the population. But what about the Mexican Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans. We know people of color are 35% percent of the population. It looks a little different when you put us in that light.”