‘We Must Do Better’: Tlaib, In Tears, Urges Colleagues To Reckon With Capitol Insurrection

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) becomes emotional as she spoke about being restricted from traveling to Palestine and Israel at a press conference at the State Capitol. (Photo by Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via Getty Images)
February 5, 2021 9:09 a.m.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Thursday night made an emotional plea to her fellow lawmakers to take the deadly Capitol insurrection that ex-President Donald Trump incited on January 6 seriously, recounting the hate she’s had to face as one of the first Muslims to be elected to Congress.

“This is so personal. This is so hard because as many of my colleagues know, my closet colleagues know, on my very first day of orientation, I got my first death threat,” Tlaib said while in tears on the House floor. “It was a serious one. They took me aside, the FBI.”

“I didn’t even get sworn in yet and someone wanted me dead for just existing,” she continued. “More came later. Uglier, more violent.”

Tlaib recalled threats that mentioned her son by name and celebrated the New Zealand mosque massacre that was carried out by a white supremacist in 2019.

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“Each one paralyzed me each time,” the congresswoman said. “So what happened on January 6,¬†all I could do is thank Allah I¬†wasn’t here. I felt overwhelming¬†relief.”

Tlaib described how she worries “every day” for her diverse staff and that she “never thought that they would feel¬†unsafe here.”

“And so I urge¬†my¬†colleagues to¬†please, please take what¬†happened on January 6 seriously,” she said. “It will lead to more¬†death¬†and¬†we can do better.¬†We must do better.”

Tlaib’s speech came after the House voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (D-GA) of her committee assignments over her ties to deranged conspiracy theories, along with her extremist and violent rhetoric, some of which was directed at Tlaib. All but 11 Republicans effectively sided with Greene by voting against her removal from the committees.

Right before the vote, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) brought out a printout of a digital poster from Greene’s campaign showing the then-candidate holding a gun next to images of Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (R-MN), who is the first member of Congress to wear a hijab.

“They are people,” Hoyer said of the three women. “They are colleagues.”

In the aftermath of the Capitol siege, Republicans have largely attempted to sweep the attack (and Trump’s role in it) under the rug with jaw-dropping calls to simply “move on”. Additionally, a majority of House Republicans voted against impeaching Trump while a majority of their GOP colleagues in the Senate voted against holding an impeachment trial.

Watch Tlaib below:

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