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Dissecting Discrimination

By Alec Brooks of Kazerouni Law Group, APC on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

On August 1 Managing partner Abbas Kazerounian was invited again to join Dr. Drew on his midday live radio show with Psycho Mike Catherwood. Kazerounian has been invited to the show many times in the past to serve as a legal analyst, but this time around he was asked to speak about something more personal. The subject of the segment was Humayun Khan, an American soldier of Pakistani descent who was killed serving in Iraq in 2004. Khan’s parents appeared at the Democratic National Convention on stage. Only Khan’s father spoke, and he mentioned that if Trump’s anti-Islamic agenda was carried out in the U.S. that people like his son wouldn’t have been able to serve in the military. Trump dismissed the comments and even went as far as to say that Khan’s mother didn’t speak because she wasn’t allowed to. This comment combined with the plethora of anti-Islamic rhetoric from Trump’s campaign left many upset. Kazerounian is of Iranian descent thus Dr. Drew asked him if he could comment on Trump’s policies from both a personal and legal standpoint.

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“I think there is a constitutional issue, as what Donald trump is doing is not applying the equal protection clause of the constitution to people who are equally situated,” Kazerounian said. “He’s essentially saying that if he became president he would stop Muslims from coming into the country or treat them differently than people of other ethnic origin, which is absolutely disgraceful.”

Kazerounian added that the majority of the Muslim population in the United States are good law abiding citizens and that when you look at Khan he’s given more to this country than most. Dr. Drew wondered if most of Trump’s antics were a simple reaction to the political correctness of some Americans but Kazerounian believed it to be more.

“Donald Trump isn’t just politically incorrect, he’s racist,” Kazerounian said. “The fact that I would not have been allowed to even enter the country and employ the number of people that I employ and be able to contribute to American society the way I do would’ve never been possible.”

Kazerounian also brought up racially charged statements that Trump made against Mexican American U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Trump accused Curiel of giving him biased rulings based off of his Mexican heritage. Kazerounian has had many cases before Judge Curiel and believes him to be an excellent judge. Kazerounian also noted that Judge Curiel put safety in the U.S. before his own when he passed judgements against members of the Mexican cartel. Curiel even spent a year in protective custody due to those judgements.

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Dr. Drew moved the conversation toward the media and what role it was playing in educating American citizens and keeping them informed on this election. Kazerounian complimented Dr. Drew’s show in saying that there isn’t a lot of media out there that provides a public forum on both sides of certain issues like he does. When Dr. Drew quoted the founding fathers by saying, “To have a representative democracy you need to have an educated citizenship,” and asked whether Kazerounian believed some American citizen’s limited and biased global opinions are a result of our Education system. 

“”It’s not necessarily the education system we receive at school because so much of society’s information gathering is done through the media,” Kazerounian said. “We live in the system where a single tweet can get people stirred up.”

In closing Kazerounian disclosed that he had recently earned his U.S. citizenship and that it’s unacceptable for anyone, let alone our potential president to hold him or any other immigrant in the U.S. to a lower standard. In regards to the media Kazerounian said that children are sitting there watching these debates and watching these rallies and that these children are impressionable and could easily adopt Trump’s xenophobic beliefs as their own. He hopes from both a legal and personal perspective that there’s a way to counteract the spread of this hateful thinking.

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