Robin Baumgarten told Iranian-American Fashion Blogger Hoda Katebi "You don't sound like an American" for her answer to a question on nuclear weapons. Really.
February 16, 2018

Fashion blogger Hoda Katebi was invited on WGN's morning news show to talk about her new book, "Tehran Streetstyle" as well as her blog which you should definitely check out.

She wore a hijab to the interview because that's what she always wears.

Start the video at the 3 minute mark.

She's 23, and she was there to talk about fashion and social activism, pointing out that Donald Trump was shown a picture of Afghan women in mini skirts as an argument to him for keeping troops in the region. (No, really, can we stop him being president now?)

And she gets this question thrown at her:

Let’s talk about nuclear weapons. Some of our viewers may say we cannot trust Iran. What are your thoughts?

Maybe her thoughts are I'm a fashion blogger who grew up in Oklahoma. But Hoda Katebi was much more than that and took the questions with more grace than I would have.

HODA KATEBI: I don’t think we can trust this country [the US]. When we see the legacy of this country and the violence that it has not only created but also created the capacity for, a lot of these weapons in the Middle East are completely brought in by the United States.

She didn't bring up Israeli arms manufacturers or the fact that the Iran Contra deal included weapons sold to Iran and that those weapons came out of Israel. And then there was the illegal part where US profits from the deal were diverted to the Contras in Nicaragua, but I digress.

What Hoda Katebi said was enough for host Robin Baumgarten to say, “A lot of Americans might take offense to that. You’re an American, you don’t sound like an American when you say … you know what I mean.”

Oh I think we all know EXACTLY what you mean, Robin. Unless you wave the flag and say MAGA, if you're brown you're not a real American. I'm a white lady and I could talk to you all day about Israel and Oliver North and you wouldn't DARE tell me to my damn face that I didn't sound like an American. It's the 23-year-old with the hijab who gets that treatment.

But Hoda Katebi is a well educated classy Muslim woman, and didn't call Robin a bunch of swear words, which is what I as a white church-going Christian lady would have done.

The Guardian reports:

A WGN spokesperson said: “WGN-TV anchor Robin Baumgarten spoke with Hoda Katebi this morning. Robin apologized to Hoda and they had a constructive dialogue about micro-aggressions. WGN, Robin and Hoda will be working together to use this as a teachable moment to encourage education and a deeper understanding of race, religion and identity struggles.”

Or maybe just tell Robin to stop being such a white supremacy, "America first", history forgetting, Republican-talking-point bigot, or she's fired. Tell her that on the air.

Swear words optional.

That would be a real teachable moment for everybody.

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