Ilhan Omar Unleashes New Wave of Hate Against White People, Republican 'Goons'
It feels like it’s been too long since we’ve had an Ilhan Omar bigotry story. It’s been what, a couple of weeks now?
I almost thought she had actually learned to pretend her opinions about the varieties of religious experience were within the normal range of human response or something. And she kind of has — she just let us all know she doesn’t particularly like another group of people for their immutable characteristics, either.
What’s ironic is that today’s story comes courtesy of a screed against bigotry, including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism (yes, she was able to keep a straight face) and xenophobia. That, on its face, sounds reasonable enough.
And then she remembered she was Ilhan Omar and instead decided to vilify both “white people” and “goons” in the Republican Party who she thinks don’t like her because of her race. The irony was lost on her, I’m guessing.
The Minnesota Democrat made the remarks at a Tuesday event organized by the Black Lives Matter movement titled “Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar,” according to NBC News.
“The occupant of the White House, as my sister [Rep.] Ayanna [Pressley] likes to call him, and his allies are doing everything that they can to distance themselves and misinform the public from the monsters that they created that is terrorizing the Jewish community and the Muslim community,” Omar said at the event, which drew “more than 100 supporters.”
In the speech, Omar lay the blame for anti-Semitic incidents like the Chabad of Poway shooting in California directly at the feet of the president.
“Because when we are talking about anti-Semitism, we must also talk about Islamophobia; it’s two sides of the same coin of bigotry,” Omar said. “Just this week, when we’ve had the attack in California on a synagogue, it’s the same person who’s accused of attempting to bomb a mosque. So I can’t ever speak of Islamophobia and fight for Muslims if I am not willing to fight against anti-Semitism.”
This event was held outdoors. I mention this only because it was a pretty risky move from Rep. Omar, given that most of the above paragraph — aside from mentioning the fact that, yes, the alleged Poway shooter was indeed both an anti-Semite and an Islamophobe — was basically inviting a lightning bolt from the Deity.
The courting of thunderbolts continued unabated as she prattled on about the president’s “vile attacks” against her and others, noting that his “demented views are not welcome here.”
“This is not going to be the country of the xenophobics,” she said. “This is not going to be the country of white people. This is not going to be the country of the few. This is going to be the country of the many.”
Just not the white people. Got that?
She also demonized Republicans, insisting their problems with her have to do with her faith, her gender and her melanin quotient:
“The thing that upsets the occupant in the White House, his goons in the Republican Party, many of our colleagues in the Democratic Party is that they can’t stand, they cannot stand, that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she’s equal to them,” she said.
Let me state here, as a person of incredible paleness, that I don’t get offended when people fall back on “yes, you, white people!” race-baiting. I understand why some people think it’s acceptable, given a liberal/postcolonial mindset. I find it more telling and lazy than abhorrent, and I certainly don’t think it’s typically meant in the same pernicious manner that, say, anti-Semitism is.
But that’s kind of the point here: It’s being spoken by a pernicious anti-Semite who’s apparently trying to rebrand herself so that “bigot” isn’t the first thing that you associate with her.
And how is she trying to accomplish this? By specifically attacking a group of people for their race. If this was the rollout of the Ilhan Omar who sincerely cares about Jewish people, it may have been the occasion to steer clear of the “But do you know who I really can’t stand… ?” rhetoric.
Beyond that, this is a country for whites, as much as it’s a country for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Middle Easterners, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, atheists, cisgender individuals, LGBT individuals — everyone, in fact, who believes in the ideals that made this country great.
During his unctuous, demagogic candidacy announcement last week, Joe Biden actually managed to get one thing right: America is an idea. It’s not a country based on identity — much as Biden’s Democrats try to make it that way.
Inasmuch as we haven’t lived up to that idea, we can’t make up for it by excluding people we perceive of having benefited from bigotry. Saying that “[t]his is not going to be the country of white people” and trying to make it so isn’t going to erase the history of slavery or segregation. In fact, all it does is enforce the kind of mindset that created those monsters.
Finally, it’s also eye-rollingly pathetic for Ilhan Omar to insist that her adversaries don’t like her because she’s a black female Muslim who “shows up in Congress thinking she’s equal to them.”
Yes, this has nothing to do with the fact that she repeated blatantly anti-Semitic tropes about Jews controlling American foreign policy with money or having dual loyalties to Israel. It has nothing to do with the fact she retweeted a Jewish critic who said that she “might as well call us hook-nosed” after her multitude of dog-whistles. Nothing to do with the fact that she refuses to take any responsibility for this.
In her mind — or at least in her speeches — this is all because the Republican Party is a phalanx of racist, sexist Islamophobes who went absolutely bonkers the moment she arrived at the Capitol. Right.
This would all be darkly funny were it not for the fact that this speech didn’t just happen days after the Chabad of Poway shooting but actually piggybacked upon it to impugn not just President Trump but all Republicans as being somehow complicit in it.
Instead of being darkly funny, it’s just another example of the darkness that lurks within the heart of Ilhan Omar. Americans should and do have it in their heart to forgive repentant bigots.
When it comes to the unrepentant, however — particularly the opportunistically unrepentant — we ought to have nothing but contempt.
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