Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trump, Muslims and a Local Hospital

  The day after potential president Donald Trump gave his speech portraying Muslims as a threat to the U.S., I found myself, while in the waiting room of a local hospital, witnessing his message being put to the test.  I happened to be there because a medical condition of my proudly eighty-nine year old father was being treated.     
  In the waiting room with me and my younger brother were two elderly white men, who I sensed felt my same sense of cautious confidence that things would go right for our loved ones, though knowing that nothing is certain.  And then the most unexpected thing happened - a group of Muslims walked into the room.   From their language, conversation, skin color, ethnicity, and even dress it was apparent that they were Muslims.  And also apparent was that they were there to also stressfully await a medical procedure on a beloved family member.  It was what they did next that brought a shock to the place.   
  After unpacking some carry out food that some other Muslims brought them, they sat down on the floor, spread out the various containers of food - an East Indian food scent emanating - passed out paper plates and plastic utensils, and then invited everyone in the room to eat with them, or just have some food.  Their gesture of kindness and sharing - as well as an eerie comforting aura they brought into the still and solemn room - is why I have faith that America will never succumb to the covert attack on Muslims heralded by Trump.  
  Because the good they will see in Muslims will always and forever outweigh the fear and hate caused by a few.

Link for this article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Gesture of kindness and sharing from Muslims"

Eric E. Vickers, Attorney and Community Activist. 


ERIC E. VICKERS, Doctor of Jurisprudence

1975 B. A. Political Science Washington University – St. Louis 1976 
 M.A. Urban Studies Occidental College – Los Angeles, Ca. 1981 
Juris Doctorate University of Virginia School of Law – Charlottesville, Va (the law school ranks eight in the nation-click the link) 


1970 – Graduated from University City High School following parents moving to U. City from East. St. Louis, Ill. in 1967. 
1970 – 1973 Forest Park Community College 
1973 – 1975 Washington University St. Louis 
1975 – 1976 CORO Foundation Fellow St. Louis. CORO annually selects thirty-six (36) “Fellows” nationally and prepares them for leadership in public affairs through providing month-long internships in government, business, media, labor, and community organizations - in addition to providing intensive training in group dynamics. 
1976 – 1978 Monsanto Company – Director of Training; Labor Relations Specialist 
1978 – 1981 University of Virginia School of Law 
1981 – 1983 Associate Attorney Bryan Cave law firm. St. Louis, Mo. 
1983 – 1990 Vickers, Moore & Wiest law firm. St. Louis, Mo. 
1990 – 2000 Vickers & Associates law firm. St. Louis, Mo. 
2000 – 2002 Founder and President, Coalition for North St. Louis Economic Development, Inc. (“CNSLED”). CNSLED created strategic alliance with major banks to invest $100 million in north St. Louis to spur inner city economic development through providing minority businesses access to capital and technical support services. 
2002 – 2003 Executive Director American Muslim Council. Washington, D.C. 
2003 – 2008 Founder and Spokesperson Rosa Parks Minority Inclusion Initiative, an economic initiative that targeted eleven (11) major construction projects in the St. Louis area totaling $3.6 billion in construction for inclusion of minorities and women. 
2008 – Present Eric E. Vickers & Associates law firm. Licensed to Practice Law: State of Missouri; U.S. District Court Eastern Division of Missouri. 

Board of Directors Gateway National Bank St. Louis 
Board of Directors St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation 
Chairman of Board Islamic Center of Greater St. Louis 
Board of Directors American Muslim Alliance – Fresno, California 
Special Counsel Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. Washington D.C. - Founded by Maryland Congressman Parren Mitchell
Had two private meetings with President George W. Bush, the first at the White House in 2011 -two weeks following 911 and regarding the 911 attack. 
Made Muslim ritual Pilgrimage to Mecca (Saudi Arabia) known as Hajj - February 2002 
Associate Professor History Department University of Virginia – 1979 -1981 Lecturer to Bar on Constitutional Law 
Candidate U.S. Congress - 1994, 2000 
Initiated and represented minority contractors in federal lawsuit resulting in 25% minority and 5% female goals being established as the law on all St. Louis City contracts pursuant to 1989 Federal Court Consent Decree. See St. Louis Minority Contractors Association v. City of St. Louis et al., Cause No. 88-1587-C-4 (U.S. District Court Eastern District Missouri 1989). 
First attorney to successfully sue a Missouri judge for violating a constitutional right. See Carol Davis v. City of Charleston et al., 915 F. 2d 1502 (8th Cir. 1990). 
Established legal rights of minority and women businesses with precedent setting litigation in West Palm Beach and Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Oakland, California. 
Author of book, And Men Don’t Talk, a compilation of short fictional stories, poems, and essays, with title derived from my upbringing of men being about action, rather than talk.