Seema Jilani Blog Alleges White House Racism At Correspondents' Dinner
May 9, 2013 4:16 AM EST
While President Obama poked fun at himself at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for not being "the strapping young Muslim socialist" he used to be, a journalist’s wife was experiencing her own form of bigotry.
In a viral blog post written by Seema Jilani, the physician and journalist’s wife recounts a confrontation she had with the White House security outside the ballroom.
As a spouse of an invited guest, Jilani wasn’t invited to the dinner – only the cocktail hour held beforehand. After her husband left to go to the ballroom, Jilani realized he still had their hotel room keys.
When she asked security if she could go to find her husband to retrieve them, they refused to let her go down without a ticket.
“Then something remarkable happened,” Jilani wrote. “I watched as they let countless other women through -- all Caucasian -- without even asking to see their tickets.”
Jilani confronted security about the apparent unfair treatment.
"We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings," a security representative told her.
Jilani describes how she felt in her post:
“Like a malignancy, it had crept in when I least expected it -- this repugnant, infectious bigotry we have become so accustomed to. ‘White privilege’ was on display, palpable to passersby who consoled me. I've come to expect this repulsive racism in many aspects of my life, but when I find it entrenched in these smaller encounters is when salt is sprinkled deep into the wounds.”
Jilani has spoken before about bigotry towards American Muslims.
“If you were to search my home, the only flammables you would find are hair products. The only thing my family is radical about is keeping up with "Glee". Is this assimilation enough?” she wrote in a 2011 article for The Guardian reacting to the establishment of congressional hearings on American Muslims to investigate homegrown terrorism.
According to Jilani’s profile on The Guardian, she is a pediatric specialist who is based in Texas. She has worked in Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt and the Balkans. Her radio documentary, “Israel and Palestine: The Human Cost of The Occupation,” was nominated for The Peabody Award.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- The Burka Avenger Educates Children While Fighting For Girls' Education Rights In New Pakistan TV Show
- Christopher Walken To Play Mob Boss In Film Adaptation Of Four Seasons Musical 'Jersey Boys'
- William Cantrell Mistakes Human Ashes For Cocaine, May Have Snorted Remains
- Giant Alligator Eats 80-Pound Dog In North Carolina, Gator May Still Be Alive
- Steve McQueen's Last Ride, 1952 Custom Chevy Pickup Truck, Hits The Auction Block
- Revealed: Vladimir Putin Plotting To Invade Europe – Report
- IKEA Black Friday 2014 Ad Includes Discounts On Home Furnishings, Appliances, Kitchen Designs, Beds, Sofas, Mattresses And Toys
- Australian and Other Select Earth Locations Hold Proofs Life Once Existed On Mars – Report
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Will Shatter Records with 64-Bit Snapdragon, 21MP Camera and Bendable Design
- Lowe's Black Friday 2014 Deals Include Up To 40% Off On Select Major Appliances, Plus Free Shipping For Orders Of $19 Or More
- Bill Clinton At It Again, Caught By Camera In Jerusalem Peeking At Woman’s Breast
- Black Friday 2014 Sale: Best Buy,Target And Amazon Offer Huge Discounts On Tablets Like iPad Air 2, Shield Tablet, Surface Pro 3 And More