Michigan, much to Hillary Clinton’s chagrin, helped elect Donald Trump president of the United States.
Now the state perhaps best known for the automobile industry and the financial collapse of its marquee city, Detroit, faces a new question.
Is Michigan ready to elect a Muslim governor?
Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times explores the possibility in his feature on 32-year-old Abdulrahman El-Sayed, a University of Michigan graduate who helped rebuild Detroit’s crumbling health-care system.
Writes Barabak: “El-Sayed has already raised more than $1 million, an impressive sum for a political newcomer, and established himself as a serious — if underdog — contender in the crowded gubernatorial field. The incumbent, Republican Rick Snyder, is termed out after 2018.”
Observes Barabak: “The sentiment that fueled Trump’s narrow victory, a combustible mix of economic anxiety and political grievance that brewed for decades, hasn’t gone away in just a few months; now El-Sayed is the one channeling that discontent. ‘Our state is literally crumbling beneath us,’ he says of its decayed infrastructure. ‘People have been locked out of our economy.’
“But instead of fanning resentment, or egging audiences to lash out, El-Sayed seeks to uplift, suggesting his only-in-America story — a tale of immigrant parents and striving and overcoming ethnic and cultural differences, even within his own family — shows Michigan a way forward, if people look past things like skin color and religion.
“From inner-city Detroit to the farthest rural reaches of the state, he tells audiences, there is a hunger for opportunity and safety and economic security. ‘In polarized times,” (El-Sayed) says, ‘the single most empathetic thing we can do is reach out.’ ”
You can read the entire story here.
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Wine Country Wildfires Death Toll Hits 15
Here’s the lead of the Associated Press report at 12:33 p.m. PDT Tuesday:
“In neighborhood after neighborhood, all that remains are the smoldering ashes and eye-stinging smoke from a day of utter devastation.
“Newly homeless residents of California wine country awoke to shattered lives Tuesday, a day after wildfires killed at least 15 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and businesses. Hundreds more firefighters joined the battle against the blazes, which were still completely uncontained. And authorities began to identify the dead, including a 100-year-old man and his 98-year-old wife who died in their burning home.”