Sunday, June 15, 2014

Betcha didn't know he was an Arab!

Danny Thomas was an Arab (Lebanese, to be precise) from Detroit.

But how many people know that Casey Kasem was as well? Another Arab from Detroit (at one time, Detroit had the largest population of Arabs in the US).

Kemal Amin "Casey" Kasem is known for his being a DJ who presented America's top 40. In addition to his radio shows, Kasem provided the voice of many commercials; had done many voices for Sesame Street; provided the character voice of Peter Cottontail in the Rankin/Bass production of Here Comes Peter Cottontail; was the voice of NBC; helped out with the annual Jerry Lewis telethon; and provided the cartoon voices of Robin in Super Friends, Mark on Battle of the Planets, and a number of characters for the Transformers cartoon series of the 1980s. In 2008, he was the voice of Out of Sight Retro Night which aired on WGN America, but was replaced by rival Rick Dees. After 40 years, Kasem retired from his role of voicing Shaggy in 2009, although he did voice Shaggy's father in the 2010 TV series, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.

Like Danny Thomas, Casey was an American icon.

It makes me sick to think that white, right wing assholes get a pass while Arabs are fingered as terrorists.

Especially when you think of the Arabs and Muslims who have contributed to US culture.

What do Ray LaHood, Tony Shalhoub, and Selma Hayek have in common? They’re each Arab American. As are Sen. George Mitchell, Diane Rehm, Doug Flutie, and Frank Zappa. And the CEO of Del Monte Produce, the founder of Farouk Systems hair products, and the inventor of the heart pump.

Arab Americans' accomplishments are as diverse as our community itself. Arab Americans have distinguished themselves in science and medicine, academia and sports, the arts and politics—in every aspect of American life.

I am sorry to hear of Casey's passing.  We really need more people like Casey and Danny these days to fight the hate and ignorance.

See also:  Famous Arab Americans


  1. only in America would the standard be low enough to say that Casey Kasem "contributed to culture".

    1. It's undeniable that commercialism has been part of American culture for centuries. You can disagree with that, but what have you contributed to society?
      He lived a life that harmed no one and became successful and wealthy. I'd call that an American success story.
      Would you call someone who made their success producing weapons of death more successful?