ilhan omar support spikes in spite of maga crowd
April 16, 2019
Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has had to endure an Islamophobic pile-on from both sides of the aisle since she made comments about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an Isreali interest group in Washington. Omar apologized for the comments, but the accusation of anti-Semitism opened the floodgates for some of the most outrageous bigotry that could ever be flung at one of the first Muslim women as well as the first Somali immigrant to serve in the United States Congress. This wave of xenophobia directed at unwaveringly honest Omar has dominated the conversation around Omar but the noise generated by 45 and his minions, left and right, isn’t affecting her support because according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, her re-election fund is outpacing her delegates with $830,000 already raised.
The right is saturating any discussion about the groundbreaking Congresswoman with xenophobic vitriol — the latest bout brought on by Omar’s unpopular description of the 9/11 attacks at a banquet for Muslim civil rights. In her words: “some people did something” that caused all Muslims “to lose access to our civil liberties.” Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw miscommunicated Omar’s sentiment in a tweet that read, “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.’ Unbelievable.” The tweet would serve as the beginning of a new, stronger pile-on with 45 even chiming in from his throne as King of the Trolls, posting an incendiary video that splices footage of Omar at the banquet with footage of the burning Twin Towers, according to The Washington Post.
According to Omar, 45’s white supremacist dog whistle of a tweet has increased the frequency of death threats from right-wing extremists, to the point where Nancy Pelosi had to request that extra security would be provided to the family. The rot in the 45 admin starts at the head, traveling all the way through fish, stinking up the country. It’s so bad that Lynne Patton, a regional administrator at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the highest-ranking Black woman in the Trump administration wrote in a personal Instagram post, “Ilhan Omar is crying she’s receiving death threats. They’re not death threats. Just some people saying something,” according to Mother Jones. Sunken does not even begin to describe.
“The cruelty is the point,” wrote Adam Serwer for The Atlantic. The cruelty is their weapon and it is loud and in your face. It invades spaces and poisons fruitful discussion to blast its agenda into the ether. It’s this chaotic landscape of engagement that has us focusing on bigoted vitriol instead of paying attention to the fact that people hear Omar’s message, even with all the noise. The entire election system is rigged to respond to dollar amounts and even though Omar is part of a new class of public servants looking to change that, she is showing that she is a real contender, even in a game that was not created for someone like her to succeed.
Ilhan Omar and her family do not deserve any of the harassment they have to live with. They are scared of her and because they have bought and stole the platform to make their voices the loudest, they are trying to make an example of her. The only problem is that they are not the only ones that vote, as much as they hate that. Omar will be re-elected because the people will it, and slowly yet surely, Congress won’t be a homogenous, hostile pile of white privilege looking to ice out anyone who looks different. If we choose to focus on anything, let’s focus on that.
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