After the President of the United States allowed a crowd at a recent campaign rally to chant “send her back” in reference to a black female Congresswoman, that Congresswoman is calling the president a fascist.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress — the other being Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) — is a Somali refugee and naturalized U.S. citizen. She’s one of four members of Congress in a quartet of women of color that’s become known as “The Squad,” along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan). All four are U.S. citizens, and all but Omar are native-born Americans.
Despite this, President Trump lashed out at them in a series of tweets over the weekend suggesting they “go back to the crime-infested places from which they came,” and that they “came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all).”
Even though his comments were widely condemned, Trump doubled down on his remarks during a Wednesday night rally. After repeatedly attacking Rep. Omar, Trump’s supporters chanted “send her back” while the president looked on. The hashtag #IStandWithIlhan became the #1 nationwide trending topic on Twitter in response to the rally, with Americans voicing their support of the Minnesota Congresswoman.
However, on Thursday, Rep. Omar made no bones about how she viewed the president’s actions. In an impromptu news conference that shut down two lanes of traffic as a mob of reporters followed her into the street, Omar called the President of the United States a racist and a fascist.
“We have said this president is racist. We have condemned his racist remarks. I believe he is fascist,” Omar said. “I want to remind people that this is what the president and his supporters have done [to] our country. This is supposed to be a country where we allow democratic debate and dissent to take place.”
“This is not about me,” she continued. “This is about us fighting for what this country truly should be.”
Just asked Omar about the chants, and she says of Trump: "I believe he is a fascist." Responding to Lindsey Graham, who said if she were wearing a MAGA hat Trump wouldn't have said 'go back:' "Because I criticized the president, I should be deported?" pic.twitter.com/Pdgtozu6x6
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 18, 2019
President Trump distanced himself from his supporters’ chant, saying he tried to “speak very quickly.” However, as The Independent noted, “The president did not, in fact, appear to stop or change the speed of his continued insults against the Democratic politicians on Wednesday night.”
“Video from the president’s rally shows him attacking Ms Omar and later pausing as the crowd chants ‘send her back,’ ” The Independent wrote.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.