UPDATE (1 June):
Lindsey Graham officially announced his presidential bid on 1 June. He is campaigning on a hawkish foreign policy, insisting that he will maintain “security through strength”—that is to say, through a further projection of US military power throughout the world.
In April, the presidential hopeful declared “If I’m president of the United States and you’re thinking about joining Al Qaeda or ISIL, I’m not going to call a judge. I’m going to call a drone, and we will kill you.”
It goes without saying that this kind of extrajudicial assassination would be illegal and unconstitutional.
ORIGINAL (24 May):
US Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican representing South Carolina and a presidential hopeful, is no stranger to controversy. Or racism.
At an AIPAC dinner in Boston on 4 May, Graham claimed that “al,” the word “the” in Arabic, is “bad news.”
Just a few weeks later, the far-right GOP leader was blasted for “racist,” anti-Iranian remarks. In an address to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference via video on 22 May, Graham declared “Everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room. I met a lot of liars, and I know Iranians are liars.”
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) “strongly condemned” Senator Graham’s “racist statement” and demanded an apology.
NIAC President Trita Parsi said “The Senator’s repulsive remarks are racist, period. This type of discourse should have no place in American politics.”
Parsi added “Graham essentially admits to being a bigot, because nothing says ‘I’m stereotyping’ more than basing judgment of an entire people solely on a handful of interactions in a pool room.”
“Graham’s racist statement raises concerns about his ability to speak on vital national security matters such as the nuclear negotiations with Iran,” he added. “Because if you judge an entire people based on your experience running a pool hall-liquor store, do you really have the judgment to keep America safe?”
NIAC created a petition encouraging Graham to retract the “racist, anti-Iranian remarks.”