President Trump takes particular delight in singling out people of color for abuse. We’ve seen it in his numerous rhetoric attacks on Black athletes and celebrities. We’ve also seen this habit take an even more sinister turn recently with his comments about Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
The freshman Congresswoman has become a lightning rod for Republican smears, in no small part because she is a Somali-American Muslim, meaning she offers an opportunity for right-wingers to indulge in their racism, xenophobia, and Islamaphobia all at once.
While speaking to reporters today, Trump couldn’t resist the urge to blow a few dog whistles over Omar. After rambling for a bit about the perfectly normal and healthy disagreements currently working towards resolution within the Democratic Party and clearly intent on doing his damndest to sow discord amongst Dems, he took aim at the Congresswoman.
Trump included Omar in a “group of people” which includes several other freshmen representatives like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), adding that he doesn’t “know where they came from,” a statement that has unsavory parallels to the incredibly racist birtherism conspiracy theory he pushed about President Obama.
“I’m looking at this Omar from Minnesota and if one-half of the things they’re saying about her are true, she shouldn’t even be in office,” Trump said.
While he failed to specify what exactly it is that “they’re” saying about the Congresswoman, it was presumably a reference to the horrible racist smears and outright lies about her that have been populating the conservative networks and corners of the internet for months now.
Republicans want to paint her as a terrorist, a tactic disgustingly exemplified when a GOP event at the West Virginia Capitol displayed a poster linking Omar to the 9/11 attacks. It is utterly disgraceful for the president to align himself with these ideas.
"If one-half of the things they're saying about her are true, she shouldn't even be in office," Pres. Trump said of Rep. Ilhan Omar this morning.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2019
Omar, never one afraid to defend herself, took to Twitter and blew the president out of the water by effortlessly one-upping him.
“If one-tenth of what they say about you is true, you shouldn’t be in office… next,” Omar tweeted.
And indeed, she is correct. Trump’s sordid resume of accusations ranges from numerous allegations of rape and sexual assault to obstruction of justice and tax fraud to numerous other misdeeds. The president would be wise to reflect on this fact before he picks another fight with someone who is clearly his moral and intellectual superior.