President Donald Trump is at it again – on Friday he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar with a video showing parts of a speech she gave broken up with footage of the twin towers burning on 9/11.
Along with the video, Trump tweeted “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” Trump is carrying on a controversy that has been making the rounds through Republican politicians’ social media and right-wing media over the last week.
In response to Trump’s actions, #IStandWithIlhanOmar is trending on Twitter in support of the lawmaker.
Using the loss of the 3,000 Americans killed on 9/11 as a pawn in another one of his grotesque, infantile political games.
— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) April 13, 2019
That video going around with 9/11 images should be REPORTED EVERYTIME you see it!
— Dhoruba Khali (@DhorubaKhali) April 13, 2019
Convincing white people that black people are the biggest threat to their safety is the republican party’s most effective way to distract their white base from noticing that republican policies are the ones killing them softly. #IStandWithIlhanOmar
— Liz Plank (@feministabulous) April 13, 2019
It all began when Omar made a speech at a banquet held by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties group, one week after the white-supremacist shot 50 people dead in mosques in an act of domestic terrorism.
In the speech, Omar talked about Islamophobia and Muslims’ right to stand up for their freedom.
“For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” she said. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. So you can’t just say that today someone is looking at me strange and that I am trying to make myself look pleasant. You have to say that this person is looking at me strange, I am not comfortable with it, and I am going to talk to them and ask them why. Because that is the right you have.”
Since the remarks, Republicans have fixated obsessively on the four words she used to refer to 9/11, as “some people did something.”
It is these four words that Trump and other Republicans are using against Omar. Her defenders say that Trump’s tweets in particular put Omar’s life and safety even more at risk.
Omar has already received numerous threats. Last week, a New York man was taken into custody after having been arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder her, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.
“She won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will we,” Bernie Sanders tweeted. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.”
This isn’t the first time that Trump has lied and manipulated facts to use the tragedy of 9/11 as a political weapon. Trump lied that an alleged large population of Arabs in New Jersey celebrated when the twin towers crashed. Trump has also publicly attacked former President George W. Bush’s handling of 9/11 and his inability to prevent the attacks and even falsely claimed that he helped clear rubble and looked for survivors on 9/11.
Omar’s political allies have rallied to her defense.
Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib called for more Democrats to defend Omar. Democratic presidential candidates, including Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, Beto O’Rourke, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Julián Castro condemned the president’s incendiary threats.