Image default

“Drop Biden!”

For US President Biden, today's Michigan primaries should be a formality. But the mood is bad. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Arab Americans live there. And they argue with him.

Katrin Brand

Early February in Michigan. President Biden is celebrating with the powerful auto workers union, the UAW, which will support him in the election campaign. The president feels good. This can be clearly seen on the television pictures.

Outside the factory, the atmosphere is less friendly, as the cameras show. Palestinian flags are flying, chants are calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and a large poster reads: “The working class says: Absolutely not Genocide Joe!”

“You are not welcome in Michigan”

Biden's schedule on this day does not include speaking to those behind these protests, i.e. representatives of the Muslims and the Arab-American population in Michigan. Instead, he sent members of his campaign team over a week later. That doesn't go down well. The impression is that Biden needs the votes of Muslims, but he is not interested in them.

“I just want to say: Mr. Biden, you are absolutely not welcome in Michigan. Our trust has been shaken. We feel betrayed and robbed of our hard-earned money that you gave to Israel, thereby harming innocent people,” says Farah Khan from the “Abandon Biden” campaign in a press conference.

Discontent has been growing for months

For decades, Muslims and Arab Americans in cities like Detroit and Dearborn have voted overwhelmingly Democratic. But discontent has been growing for months. The conflicts in Israel and Gaza affect many of them personally.

In their view, the cruel attack by Hamas at the beginning of October has a long history, and they see the Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip as genocide. Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud, a Muslim and Democrat, is among those calling for a ceasefire. “Ending the genocide immediately is the first step. But then we need a just solution for the Palestinian people that recognizes their humanity,” he says.

Biden's supporters are nervous

The fact that Joe Biden's government has blocked a resolution in the UN Security Council several times and wants to continue sending money and weapons to Israel is upsetting many people. Mayors, city councilors and members of the state parliament have signed the “Listen to Michigan” initiative. In protest today they want to tick the “uncommitted” box in the primary election. And they hope that many voters will join in. This makes Biden's supporters, such as Governor Gretchen Whitmer, nervous.

Whitmer said on CNN that she honestly doesn't know what will happen today, Tuesday. She sees the pain in many communities in her state, including the Jewish communities, for example. But “every vote that doesn’t go to Biden supports a second Trump term,” she says. And that would be devastating, not only for fundamental rights and democracy, but also for foreign policy.

There are 200,000 Muslims registered to vote in Michigan. Four years ago, Joe Biden won by just 150,000 votes over Donald Trump. This means that the voice of this group of voters has weight. And Michigan has weight. Here the majorities changed often and were often close. If Michigan is lost to the Democrats, the next president will probably be Trump.

Katrin Brand, ARD Washington, tagesschau, February 27, 2024 5:38 a.m

Related posts

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.