Keith Ellison, the most prominent Muslim elected official in America, was having a pretty good day.
Never mind that the Republican front-runner in the presidential contest — Donald Trump — had proposed to temporarily bar all people of the congressman's faith from entering the United States, roughly a quarter of the world's population. Never mind that his House colleague — Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, the only other Muslim in Congress — received another death threat. And never mind that a Republican colleague — Iowa Rep. Steve King — was, at that very moment, questioning his patriotism in the press, saying the Detroit-born progressive Democrat has not sufficiently denounced Sharia law. Ellison had greeted King with a smile several times that day, even shaking his hand.
Ellison fiercely clung to the upside in the explosive hate speech around him, insisting — despite Trump's inflammatory rhetoric and other harsh anti-Muslim diatribes — that everything was just fine. "I gotta be honest, I don't really absorb the negativity too much ... If you're too sensitive here, it's just hard to go on. You know what I mean?" Ellison said in an interview.