Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) sounded the alarm over concerns that she is being both targeted and dehumanized by the GOP’s gun-slinging lawmakers after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) used an image targeting the Minnesota progressive in a tweet laden with self-victimization.
“I will be honest it’s getting really scary to serve with people with guns, who dehumanize and target you,” Omar wrote on Twitter late Tuesday.
The comments follow growing furor over threats of violence and falsehood posed by the QAnon-promoting Georgia congresswoman who has endorsed executing Democratic lawmakers.
The endorsement is part of a streak of violent rhetoric from the Georgia lawmaker who in September had also urged an “offense” against progressive women of color in the House, including Omar, when she posted a gun-toting photo that was later removed from Facebook.
“I fear that with no accountability, no recourse and calls to ‘move on’ will turn this toxic environment into a deadly situation,” Omar tweeted.
Omar expanded further in a statement on Wednesday chastising Republicans for trying to distract from its Greene problem by demanding her removal from committees. Omar called the diversion tactic “a desperate smear rooted in racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia.”
“Marjorie Taylor Greene has incited violence against her fellow Members of Congress, repeatedly singling out prominent women of color,” Omar wrote in the Wednesday statement. “She actively encouraged the insurrection on the Capitol that threatened my life and the life of every Member of Congress. She ran a campaign ad holding an assault rifle next to my face.”
Republicans have made a bad faith argument that Omar’s previous controversial comments about Israel, which were criticized as playing into anti-Semitic tropes, are in the same bucket as Greene’s dangerous and violent rhetoric. The GOP has responded to calls for Greene to be booted off committees by arguing the same for Omar.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer dismissed the false equivalence Wednesday.
“With respect to Congresswoman Omar, there was an assertion that she said some anti-Semitic comments that could be perceived as anti-Semitic. The Speaker and I both responded to that and admonished her and asked her to not repeat that conduct. And frankly she has not, in my view. We do not believe there’s an analogy on our side of the aisle.”
In the statement, Omar also accused the House Republican Caucus of a desperate effort to rescue Greene by “whitewashing the actions of the violent conspiracy theorists, who pose a direct and immediate threat to their fellow Members of Congress and our most fundamental democratic processes.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has come under fire for a failure to react quickly to the growing threat of violence — only meeting with the GOP lawmaker under pressure on Tuesday.
The meeting appeared to yield little success after Greene suggested no signs of remorse for her remarks. The House is scheduled to vote to strip Greene of her committee assignments on Thursday, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday.
I spoke to Leader McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments. The Rules Committee will meet this afternoon, and the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow.
— Steny (Wear a Mask) Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) February 3, 2021
Omar’s concerns follow similar remarks made by fellow progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who has been outspoken over fears that “white supremacist sympathizers” might jeopardize her safety and even “create opportunities” for her to be hurt, both in and outside of the Capitol.
Ocasio-Cortez has repeatedly said she was afraid that she might die on the fateful day when lawmakers took shelter under desks and barricaded themselves in offices as a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
The conspiracy theorist lawmaker who has become the face of the Republican Party’s mainstreaming of violence and conspiracies, has appeared to both play the victim and wield the growing criticism she faces as fuel for a fundraising campaign to “defend” her against what she has called a mob of “bloody thirsty media” and “socialists.”
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 3, 2021
On Tuesday night, Greene posted an ad to Twitter using a photo of Omar to fundraise against Democrats who “are trying to expel me from Congress.”
Although disciplinary action would likely come from House leadership, the selection of Omar for the ad is not surprising — the Minnesota lawmaker was a favorite target of former President Donald Trump who popularized the racist chant, “Send her back.”
The conspiracy theorist lawmaker’s latest effort to paint herself as a victim needing donations to “defend” herself, alongside her own efforts to intimidate and promote violence against women of color is quite a juxtaposition — but not one without historical precedent.