The Khans' Response To Donald Trump's Debate Comment About Their Son Shows What It Really Means To Be An American

During the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee decided to once again foray unnecessarily into the subject of Iraq War hero Capt. Humayan Khan. This time, he made the fantastical claim that had he been president during that time, Khan would not have died in battle. By repeating the falsehood that he opposed the Iraq war prior to the invasion and exploiting Khan's death, Trump angered thousands of viewers at home. It appears that Capt. Khan's parents are among those most appalled by his statement, and the Khans responded to Trump's debate comment about their son in the best and most graceful way possible, especially given the circumstances.

In a statement sent to the press, Khizr Khan made it clear that he and his wife Ghazala know their son is an American hero, and no matter how much ill-conceived politicking Trump tries to do to spin his death towards his own gains, they know what their son sacrificed for his country. The short and simple statement is a thousand times more poignant and patriotic than anything Trump has ever uttered in his life, and as the child of an immigrant, it warms my heart that the Khans continue to stick up for their ideals and for the ideals for which their son gave his life.

While there are too many stomach-turning aspects of tonight's debate for me to count or list here, Trump's eagerness to not once but twice exploit the pain and suffering of others to further his agenda against Clinton was what really stuck with me. To invoke Capt. Khan's name just a few short months after being embroiled in a very public war of words with his parents, and to feign sympathy for his death is a new low, even for The Donald. His increasingly fantastical series of statements about how he'd somehow have prevented Capt. Khan's death because of his opposition to the Iraq War (which has been repeatedly disproved) are wild enough to make any sci-fi fantasy writer blush. Equally as important, it reasserts that Trump seems to be living in some kind of alternate dimension visible only to him.

While Clinton may not have completely lived up to her Michelle Obama-approved statement regarding the lows her opponent will stoop to and her ability to rise above it, the Khans definitely did. In the face of Islamophobia incarnate, the Khans have held strong, and have exhibited such incredible grace under such immense pressure that it's truly inspirational. Their statement is just another reminder that there are many immigrants who are a thousand times more American than Trump will ever be.