“Lock her up!” is out. “Send her back!” is in.
Facing diminishing returns from a slogan aimed at an opponent who has pretty much withdrawn from the political scene, President Trump has found a new target and a new chant to lead — replacing his ubiquitous and fascistic calls to jail Hillary Clinton — despite her being found innocent of any offense by the FBI — with a demand to deport Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Somali-born naturalized citizen of the United States.
Trump attacked Representative Omar at his bund-like rally in Greenville, North Carolina tonight and the crowd happily joined in parroting the new slogan as ubiquitously and frighteningly as a “Sieg Heil” at a Hitler speech.
The rally crowd is chanting "send her back" about Ilhan Omar as Trump reads a list of her past remarks.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) July 17, 2019
Anyone who may have thought that “it can’t happen here” when confronted with evidence of rising fascism in America was forced to admit that it can — and it is — happening in front of our very eyes.
Progressive journalist Shaun King of The Intercept saw a clip of Trump’s speech and took to Twitter to express his outrage at what he called “one of the single most racist moments in modern American political history.”
This is a modern day Klan rally.
Those MAGA hats are the new Klan hoods.
They aren't hiding it -because they don't have to -the President of the United States is an open, flagrant racist and bigot.
And he is endangering not just Ilhan Omar, but immigrants & all people of color https://t.co/eKDtIYxIPA
— Shaun King (@shaunking) July 18, 2019
King’s post exploded on Twitter with decent Americans retweeting it with comments like:
“This is terrifying. This is America.”
“he should be removed from office immediately.”
“It gets just a little worse every day. This is how fascism always works.”
“This is genuinely chilling.”
“There’s no bottom to this barrel.”
“We know there are real life consequences stemming from inflammatory and racist rhetoric. Islamophobia can lead to violence. For Trump, islamophobia is a political tactic. Ugly is an understatement.”
“This is how authoritarian fascism eventually evolves into full-blown murderous fascism. I have resisted Hitler comparisons for Trump—but this falls into that territory. He needs to be removed from office.”
“This is repulsive. And yes, very dangerous.”
“I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency. Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this. This is the face of evil.”
“He is deliberately and intentionally putting a target on the first Somali American Muslim congressional member’s back. THIS IS BEYOND OUTRAGEOUS & DANGEROUS. #IStandWithIlhan”
As for Congresswoman Omar, she rose above Trump’s conjuring of hatred with a response to the news of the poisonous political persecution that offered an inspiring quote from poet Maya Angelou that promised defiance and resoluteness in the battles against racism and xenophobia ahead.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
It’s a sad day in America. On a day when a majority of House Democrats refused to move forward with articles of impeachment against this most despicable of presidents, Trump thumbs his nose at them by proving exactly why they must impeach him immediately.
The dystopian future has arrived. Only we can change the course of history. Call your congressperson now and demand impeachment! January 2021 is simply too far in the future to wait for and who knows what can happen between now and then.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.