Open Letter To Ibrahim Mubarek

Posted on January 5, 2012 by


April 15, 2011 I took my two kids to our fourth Oregon Tea Party event. We love Tea Party events. They are family-friendly, fun, lots of creative signs, embracing freedom, and celebrating the founding principles our country was built on. That all changed on this day.

We arrived.  It was raining like crazy. And as we approached downtown Portland’s “Living Room”, Pioneer Courthouse Square, it was not what we were used to. Around the periphery of the block reserved by the Tea Party organizers was a huge crowd of protestors against the Tea Party. There was a line of bicycle police officers using their bodies to keep those people from stepping into the Tea Party event. The signs they held were filled with four letter words, hate and bile. If you were to bring those kinds of signs to a Tea Party, organizers have made it clear, you would be asked to leave.

As a mom, I had to stop a moment and ask myself, should I stay or go? Will this escalate and will my children see or hear things they shouldn’t? Could this turn violent? I decided to stay. I know enough people in the Tea Party. I felt safe with them.

By the end of the evening, the peripheral crowd was documented yelling and displaying hateful, racist words and actions. That documentation has made national news. My two children were 100 feet away from where the racist words were being hurled. When I logged onto my computer the next day and realized the only reason my kids didn’t completely discern the words being hurled within our earshot was because the protestors had illegal bullhorns, my blood ran cold. Click here for a post I wrote the day after that event and my initial feelings on having racist words hurled at my kids.

Now, months later, as the politics of Portland continue to weave their ugly web, the main person of those ugly taunts continues in his ugly ways with no apologies.

Click on a few of these links here and here to get an idea of who Ibrahim Mubarek is. Mr Mubarek is asked if he would like to take the opportunity to apologize to myself and my family for yelling the bile he yelled at my kids. His answer is no, and that I am raising my kids wrong.

Dear Mr. Mubarek,

You have said enough to me, it is my turn.

Let’s compare and contrast your “credentials” for telling me how to parent my kids. To adopt my kids myself and my husband had to perform the following tasks:

1) Fingerprinted. Prints were sent to local and federal municipalities to cross check to make sure we weren’t criminals. Same fingerprints were also cross checked in sex offender registries.

2) Fiscal references. We provided bank statements, years of income tax statements and proof of employment. We had to prove we could provide for the children we wanted to adopt.

3) We each filled out a 24 page questionnaire. Each question required an essay answer. Questions ranged from childhood experiences, conflict in our household, what our parents were like, how we related to each of our siblings, had we ever been in counseling and what was the result of that, etc. Then a case worker came to our home on three separate visits to discuss that questionnaire – again, to make sure we were fit parents and could handle parenting a child someday.

4) We also each had to provide personal references and each of those references had to fill out a smaller questionnaire. The same case worker contacted those people and spent time going over their answers. Again, to make sure we are fit parents.

5) Police history. We had to provide any and all history we had with our local police department. We showed our history with the police was that we had been crime victims, not crime perpetrators.

6) We also needed to provide an updated and proof of a complete physical. We have to make sure we can show we are physically fit and prepared to parent a child for a long time.

Mr. Mubarek, you stand in direct contrast to myself.

1) If your fingerprints were submitted to local or federal authorities, you would not pass. You have a criminal history that not only ranges to your childhood but is also very recent. It isn’t a pretty history either. It involves drugs, violence, intimidation and threats.

2) If you filled out the 24 page questionnaire, you would have to explain to a case worker why your wife called 911 in recent years because of violence towards her.

3) Fiscal liquidity. You don’t have a job. Dignity Village, the homeless camp you founded, has a history of “Donations going into the hands of a few, drugs, drinking, people fighting and beating each other up.” Again, you would have a problem explaining this to a case worker and your eligibility to parent an adopted child would be severely at risk.

4) Personal references. I am sure those who are standing around you yelling racial epithets would be willing to give personal references. However, you and your references would need to explain to the case worker why you are standing in public yelling racial epithets at small children and minorities in the first place. It’s problematic.

5) Police history. Again, from what I can find on your public profile, if you went to the local police, your history would be in stark contrast to mine. My history shows my household has been a victim of crimes. Your history would show you are a perpetrator of crime.

6) Physical fitness. This might be one area where you might pass.

Mr. Mubarek, since you took the time to yell awful epithets at my kids, have been given ample opportunities to apologize for saying such filth, and have chosen instead to tell me how to parent, I feel I must respond.

With all due respect, I reject your parenting advice. Unless and until you have been under the scrutiny I have to even have the children I have, and what I do know about you doesn’t pass cursory muster, your advice is laughable.

My kids had never heard the terms you yelled that day, 4/15/2011, until that day. You were their first introduction to “in your face” racism. You.

What is even more sad, they heard those terms from a man who has the same skin color as themselves. They had never heard those words ever, until that day. They have you to thank.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Anne Marie Gurney