White supremacist intimidation must stop

SUSAN K. SMITH | 4/21/2019, noon
The attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota, have been less than transparent in their hypocrisy, ...

Crazy Faith Ministries

The attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota, have been less than transparent in their hypocrisy, but have also set the stage for violence, not only against Omar but other Muslims in this country.

Omar, who was born in Somalia, said in a recent speech that the 9/11 attack became the excuse for racists to attack and besmear all Muslims. In that speech, she said that Muslims were tired of living with the discomfort of being second-class citizens, and she pointed to the fact that much of the animus directed toward Muslims is because in the 9/11 attack on American soil “some people did something,” and because of their actions, all Muslims in this country were “starting to lose access to” their civil liberties.

The reaction against what Omar said was swift and far-reaching and has been relentless. The attacks this week were highlighted by the president himself, who posted a video of Omar in a tweet, focusing only on those words, with the words “WE WILL NEVER FORGET” in all caps at the top of the post, as reported by The New York Times.

The attacks against Omar, coming primarily from conservative news outlets, are feeding the racism of a group of people who are fighting to “Make America Great Again,” which seems to include silencing the voices of those who speak up against the president and his policies. Politicians are warning that such vitriol coming from the president is dangerous and is tinder for a rumbling climate for racial violence. Omar has herself indicated that she has received threats against her life.

But the outrage is manufactured. No group of people likes to be lumped into a group and be called “bad” because of the actions of a few. It is a fact that “some people” did “something” that was heinous, wrong, immoral and painful to this country. There was a group of people, not an entire race of people, who carried out the attack that killed over 3,000 Americans.

Acknowledging that is simply honest.

White people are so very quick to defend themselves when racism and the heinous acts that have been carried out against Black people in this country for years are mentioned.

If one says, “White people did it,” the defensive response is quick. “We didn’t do that,” we have heard over and over again. They say that they have no control over what happened “back then,” even as they bask in the fruit of those heinous acts of a society that has favored White people from this country’s inception.

Just as Whites in this country refuse to take responsibility and do not want to be punished for something their ancestors did, Omar is stating that it is offensive for this society to attack and discriminate against all Muslims for something that a few people carried out.

It is a fact that when people act badly, they want people to forget about it. When curious progeny of those who were lynched in the South begin to dig into their family history and find evidence of one of their loved ones having been killed by racist mobs, they hit walls of silence.