Donald Trump has yet again doubled down on his recent racist attacks against progressive congresswoman Ilhan Omar. And despite previously claiming he was “not happy” when his fans responded to his attacks by chanting “send her back” at a rally, Trump has insisted these were “incredible people” and “incredible patriots”:
Wow. Trump is now back to making a full-throated defense of his fans who engaged in racist chants at his rally.
"Those people in North Carolina — that stadium was packed. It was a record crowd … Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots." pic.twitter.com/mHrRMl6PiW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 19, 2019
Trump was supposed to be marking the 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the moon at an Oval Office meeting Friday with former Apollo 11 astronauts. He was flanked by Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins and the family of mission commander Neil Armstrong. Aldrin and Armstrong, who died in 2012, made history when they landed on the moon 50 years ago on Saturday.
The Trump playbook: distortions, smears, and pandering to the far right
The Nation has explained how Trump has been “deliberately distorting” Omar’s words, while Politico has reported him “mischaracterizing” them. He has used these tactics to smear Omar repeatedly as a ‘hater’ of the US and an antisemite. As a Black, Muslim woman who came to the US as a refugee, she has become the main target for his attacks on the left.
Because of her pro-Palestinian stance and proud support for the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Omar has faced consistent smears (and attacks from Trump). Trump even incorporated a request for her to ‘apologise to Israel’ into his racist attacks this week.
Omar has also been an outspoken opponent of destructive US interference throughout the world, having fled from such destruction herself as a child. And she is part of a group of left-wing politicians that are refusing to be silent in the face of inequality and injustice.
For her, meanwhile, Trump’s racism is part of his efforts to ensure power remains in the hands of the rich:
The President’s racism is about more than just words.
It’s about transforming America from a welcoming nation where everyone has a shot to a land for rich and powerful people who look like Donald Trump. https://t.co/AtELwteXgs
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) July 19, 2019
Omar has refused, however, to let Trump’s attacks distract her from trying to make the US a better place:
Together we are fighting for a vision of America where its promise is alive for all who seek it. https://t.co/RrBlpIxsFN
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 19, 2019
🚨LIVE:@RepJayapal and I are hosting Medicare For All Town Hall.
Come join us! 👇🏽 https://t.co/jy2rc5D6gB
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) July 19, 2019
But we cannot be distracted by the president. Last night, the townhall with @Ilhan, @epmurphymn, Minnesota Nurses Association’s @RoachRose, Dr. Dave Dvorak and myself showed how #MedicareForAll Is THE solution for healthcare in this country https://t.co/eAc5b0Ka1j
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) July 19, 2019
And fortunately, the solidarity of her allies has been loud and clear:
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 19, 2019
What an incredible heart-warming beautiful welcome for @IlhanMN at the airport! This is the America I love–full of welcome & generosity. Looking forward to our town hall tonight! ❤️✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/Mh7VeCypeJ
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) July 18, 2019
I wrote this letter to sister @IlhanMN. She deserves to know how much young girls like myself look up to her.
We grew up in the same refugee camp, but this is our home now. We are not going anywhere.
Retweet so that she can see it.✊🏾💕 pic.twitter.com/miMKJ5G6bk
— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) July 19, 2019
Trump wants to shout down progressive, pro-Palestinian voices like Ilhan Omar. And that means pandering to far-right fans and firing them up – so it’s no surprise that he’s called them “incredible people”. But for anyone who despises racism, oppression, and injustice, this should serve as yet another rallying call to mobilise with everything we’ve got to defeat Trump and his racist allies.
Featured image and additional reporting via Press Association
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