Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias
By Cristina Marcos - 06/10/21 03:49 PM EDT
House progressives rallied behind Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Thursday as she sought to clarify that her discussion of alleged international human rights abuses wasn’t drawing false equivalence between the U.S. and terrorist groups, with some arguing that she is being held to a racist double standard.
Omar and others went on to accuse the group of 12 Jewish House Democrats and vocal supporters of Israel who issued a statement asking her to “clarify” her comments of unfairly targeting her out of inherent anti-Muslim and racial bias.
The pushback from Omar’s allies laid bare the tensions in the highly diverse House Democratic caucus, where lawmakers of a wide array of ethnicities and religions have at times accused each other of being insensitive to historic injustices.
“I am tired of colleagues (both D+R) demonizing @IlhanMN. Their obsession with policing her is sick. She has the courage to call out human rights abuses no matter who is responsible. That's better than colleagues who look away if it serves their politics,” tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who along with Omar is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
And Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who is Black, further accused fellow Democrats of engaging in racism against Omar, a Somali refugee.
“I'm not surprised when Republicans attack Black women for standing up for human rights. But when it’s Democrats, it’s especially hurtful. We’re your colleagues. Talk to us directly. Enough with the anti-Blackness and Islamophobia,” Bush said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) similarly argued that Omar’s questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a House Foreign Affairs Committee this week was blown out of proportion.
“Pretty sick & tired of the constant vilification, intentional mischaracterization, and public targeting of @IlhanMN coming from our caucus,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.