Yorbing Staff Tuesday April 16, 2019
WNYC The Takeaway By Tanzina Vega April 16, 2019
Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, has been roped into a state of constant national controversy ever since she was sworn in earlier this year.
When Omar made a speech at the Council of American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, last month, her words about the September 11th attacks were taken out of context by fellow freshman lawmaker Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican.
Conservative tabloid The New York Post fanned the flames last weekend, juxtaposing a snippet of Omar’s quote with images of the Twin Towers in flames on 9/11. It wasn’t long before the President jumped in on in the pile-on, tweeting out a video of Rep. Omar cut with more clips of the World Trade Center.
A New York man was arrested for threatening Omar’s life earlier this month, and her office has reported a spike in death threats against the Congresswoman since President Trump’s tweet. Trump has since continued his attack against Omar, calling her unpatriotic, and not understanding of real life.
Amid the attacks, the defense from leaders in Omar’s own Democratic Party have been lackluster. While many 2020 presidential candidates have condemned the rhetoric, party elders like Senator Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been relatively quiet.
For former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who was Maryland’s first Black representative in Washington DC, this continuing controversy fits into a pattern of discrimination that has challenged women of color in politics and beyond. Rep. Edwards joins The Takeaway with Professor Andrea Benjamin, who teaches political science at the University of Missouri in Columbia, to share their experience and provide analysis.