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Florida Lawmaker Asked Muslim Woman If It Was Safe to Ride Elevator With Her

By Vivala, For Vivala, On 29 February 2016, Read Original
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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Se Pasó is a daily opinion column where Vivianna tackles entertainment, news, and pop culture with her bold and fearless voice. In other words, she says exactly what you are thinking.

As a director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida, Laila Abdelaziz works hard to protect the civil liberties of Americans. After losing a battle with state legislators over an anti-refugee bill on Thursday, the 24-year-old found herself in the midst of even more anti-Muslim rhetoric, Huffington Post reported.

Abdelaziz said she was already feeling defeated after state representatives failed to vote down an anti-refugee bill that would allow Gov. Rick Scott to use “military force” against “invaders” from the “Eastern Hemisphere” — a.k.a. refugees from Iraq and Syria. 

Little did she know her day would get even worse when a lawmaker addressed her with a completely inappropriate anti-Muslim joke — in an elevator of all places. 

“A Representative that should damn well know better walked into the elevator and jokingly hesitated while looking at me, 'Oh, is it safe to ride the elevator with you?'" Abdelaziz wrote on her Facebook page.

Seriously, WTH?!

I guess after hearing this story, it’s not surprising that Florida wouldn’t have immediately voted down such a racist — and possibly unconstitutional — anti-refugee bill. 

What’s even more surprising is that Abdelaziz said people actually laughed! Wow, as if elevator rides weren’t already awkward and uncomfortable.

"Everyone laughed,” she wrote. “Every single one of them laughed (Democrat, Republican, white, black, old, young) as I was belittled with a wildly inappropriate remark that because I'm a Muslim this Representative should be afraid to ride in an elevator with me. It's not funny. It hurts." 

Did this person actually think Abdelaziz would find his ignorant comment amusing? That she laugh and slap her knees along with all the other buffoons in this elevator? 

The fact that these are the people passing laws in the state of Florida is baffling. It's inexcusable and sad that Abdelaziz and so many other Muslims deal with this type of B.S. all the time. 

So I’m going to take this time to make a public service announcement: Racist jokes are never funny! Not only are they ridiculously cliché, they’re offensive. Leave the joke-telling for the real comedians, people.

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