Tell House Democrats: Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar
Earlier this week, Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for a tweet that referenced antisemitic tropes.
With not a hint of shame, the white supremacist in chief and his bigoted vice-president are now calling on Rep. Omar to resign or be stripped of her committee positions. Their attacks on her are as dangerous as they are hypocritical. They are meant not to defend us against antisemitism but to undermine a Muslim woman of color whom they see as a threat to their white nationalist agenda.
As progressives, we must stand with our champions. That means giving them room to be imperfect and space to make amends and defending them when they are under attack. This week it means joining with our friends at MPower Change to show our support for Rep. Omar, and asking House Democrats to join us.
Tell House Democrats: I stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar and expect you to do the same.
Antisemitism is a real problem with real harms, and it needs to be eradicated, just like racism, misogyny and every other form of bigotry. It is on the rise in America because white nationalism is on the rise in America. Trump unleashed it and Republicans in Congress are enabling it. It's a strategy to maintain their hold on power and privilege as they lose their demographic majority. It's also a dangerous distraction that helps them steal from Americans to reward the greedy billionaires and corporations that put them in office.
White nationalism is Trump calling Mexicans rapists and torch-carrying neo-Nazis shouting "the Jews will not replace us" very fine people. It is Rep. Steve King saying that immigrants "undermin[e] our culture and civilization" and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeting "We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to BUY this election!"1,2 It is all of them doubling down when they are challenged about their bigotry and refusing to apologize or hold themselves accountable.
Trump and Pence are trying to sanitize their own bigotry and divide Democrats with false outrage towards Rep. Omar. We can't let them get away with it.
Tell House Democrats: Reject attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar and protect her committee assignments and her standing in the Party.
Monday, House Democratic leaders raced to condemn Rep. Omar's tweet with a joint statement from the entire leadership team.3 By doing so, they reinforced the harmful stereotype that Muslims are antisemitic and the false narrative that critique of the Israeli government or AIPAC's influence on American politics is by definition antisemitic.
Democrats must hear from us as loudly as they're hearing from bigoted bullies like Trump and Pence to make sure they don't cave and undermine Rep. Omar any further. They must especially protect her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where just yesterday, she bravely challenged Trump official Elliot Abrams for his role in U.S.-backed human rights abuses in Central America in the 1980's.4
Sign the petition to let House Democratic leaders know you stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar and expect them to do the same.
Thanks for everything you do.
- Elspeth Reeve, "Steve King Wants to Protect the Border from Cantaloupe-Sized Calves," The Atlantic, July 23, 2013.
- Matthew Rozsa, "House Majority Leader posted anti-Semitic tweet after bomb sent to George Soros' house," Slate, Oct. 28, 2018.
- "Democratic Leadership Statement on Anti-Semitic Comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar," Feb. 11, 2019.
- Molly Olmstead, "Watch Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Tense Exchange with Elliott Abrams Over U.S.-Supported War Crimes in Latin America," Slate, Feb. 13, 2019.
Photo: KEREM YUCEL/AFP/Getty Images