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The Racist, Misogynist Attacks On Ilhan Omar Must Stop

Ilhan Omar is under attack because she embodies what the white male fake-Christian conservative power structure in Washington wants to silence. Her fellow freshman 'sister,' Rep. Rashida Tlaib, comes to her defense in a passionate rant. More like this, please.
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SHAME on the New York Post for exploiting 9/11 to attack her. Using the murder of thousands of Americans, dancing on the site of their murder for a lie. You're a rag that should go out of business immediately.

Don't get me started about Brian Kilmeade.

The bigoted, sexist attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar won't stop. But we can stand up for her as passionately as Rep. Tlaib did Thursday morning. We must.

[Transcript]

HALLIE JACKSON: I know there's something else that has been on your mind and a lot of folks' minds, some comments and backlash to Congresswoman Omar after comments surfaced in which she said something about the 9/11 attacks. I want to talk about your reaction to the backlash and your reaction to the comment in two pieces. Here is that remark, Congresswoman:

[Video Clip] ILHAN OMAR: Cair was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and all of us were starting to lose civil liberties.

JACKSON: It's that phrase, "some people did something," that is being picked up on by some of her critics including the cover of the "New York Post" which I'll ask you about in a second. On these remarks, some people did something as a reference to 9/11, do you think she should have rethought her words? Do you worry about the appropriateness of that?

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB: They do that all the time; they take our words out of context because they're afraid because we speak truth, we speak truth to power. My sister was talking about uplifting people by supporting their civil liberties and civil rights. She has always, always condemned any strategy, especially of a person directly impacted by being a refugee herself. She sees what terrorism can do. She sees what violence can do to a whole country, to a whole people, taking it out of context. This is just a pure racist act by many of those, hateful acts by those because she does speak truth when she talks about different issues they don't disagree with. I'm outraged. As a person that has gotten direct death threats myself, I know her life is put in more danger, and I see her not just my sister and colleague, but a mother of three. I can't imagine their lives without her. The fact that people are taking those words out of context and endanger the life of Representative Omar is immoral, wrong and needs to be called out by many colleagues in saying they need to stop, stop targeting her this way. It's absolutely putting her life in danger.


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JACKSON: Obviously something you feel very passionate about. I know there was the cover of the Post that came out that caught a lot of people's attention that showed that very difficult image to look at from 9/11 with the headline "here's your something" in reference to the words she used. Your reaction?

TLAIB: Think about it. They take those words -- if you look at the context, people have written about the fact that they took those words ugly and hateful. That's exactly what it wasn't. She was talking about civil liberties and civil rights issues. She is so loving towards our country because she had to earn her citizenship in this country. She had to earn it, and she was a refugee with nothing, and she became an American united states citizen. She cherishes everything. I've talked to her about this. It brings tears to my eyes watching my mother who in the '80s was able to become a united states citizen. When immigrants are able to earn their way into citizenship and becoming one of us, it is pure inspiration to see a woman, eight years old as a refugee come through. She uplifts the LGBT community, women of color. She uplifts immigrants, tells her stories in such a way that completely transforms how people see it. It's been a voice that's been policing so long in the united states congress. I just uplift her right now in saying she needs to continue having the courage, but we need to join and unite our country against those hateful -- the "new york post" cover and any of the attacks that I've seen over and over again of sister Ilhan Omar.

JACKSON: She talked about this a little on the Colbert show last night. She was asked in general about the idea that she is, as she put it, a lightning rod because she thinks where our country is, there are many members of the community who have a lot of different identities, immigrants, people of color, minorities, Muslims and she embodies all of those sort of in one person, as one idea and feels that has made her a target of criticism.

I want to ask you how you see that, what your reaction is to that? To be clear, it sounds like you're saying you don't think she should have rethought her words, you think her words are being taken out of context, and you're comfortable with what she said?

TLAIB: I'm not for policing people. That's what they're doing. Think about it; this is a diverse class. They've never had a woman who was a refugee. These are real-life impactful stories that come with us. This is not about a Congress that looks different, but we serve differently. It's an institution that is not ready for people like us. Real people. We're just like any other Americans. When I talk about my immigrant mother when I talk about my grandmother in Palestine, when I talk about living in poverty in the city of Detroit, all of those things are so important in being at that table. They talked about us for so long, and one of us is there. People that are directly impacted by the Muslim ban, directly impacted by anti-immigrant rhetoric, around issues of racial injustice. All those things. It's been missing in this chamber for so long. Now that sister Ilhan Omar is there they can label it any way they want. Her voice matters. More and more people believe in what she's doing than people against it. And I wish we'd uplift those people. 70% of her community is white, and they elected her. The majority of people that elected her do not share the same faith as her. They believed in her. And made her a United States Congresswoman. That's what we need to be talking about more.

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