Rashida Tlaib Defends Ilhan Omar, Blasts Democratic Party Leadership

Rashida Tlaib speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol.
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Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib defended Ilhan Omar on Saturday, blasting the Democratic Party leadership for what she claims is a failure to protect their colleague, The Hill reports.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress, aired her frustrations about the treatment Ilhan Omar had received, suggesting that the Democratic leadership is silencing minorities and only using them as props when convenient and to demonstrate supposed diversity.

“They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse,” she said.

“However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us.”

Tlaib’s comments were made in response to a California state legislative staffer’s claims that the Democratic Party is failing to protect Ilhan Omar against attacks led by President Donald Trump. Trump, as it has been widely reported, tweeted on Friday a video montage juxtaposing Ilhan Omar remarks about 9/11 with footage of the World Trade Center buildings being hit by planes.

The video is clearly meant to suggest that Omar, a Somali Muslim immigrant, is siding with terrorists. However, fact-checking analyses by Axios and other prominent publications, demonstrate that Omar’s statements were misrepresented, and blatantly taken out of context, as her comments pertained to post-9/11 crackdowns on civil liberties.

According to The Daily Beast, conservatives’ attacks against the Minnesota congresswoman have caused death threats against her to surge.

But Rashida Tlaib is not the first Democrat to criticize the party leadership’s seemingly mild response to what is being described as an incitement of violence. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statements about the controversy have enraged progressives and activists who claim that the top Democrat drew false equivalence between Donald Trump and Ilhan Omar.

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“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today. For our colleagues to be silent is to be complicit in the outright, dangerous targeting of a member of Congress,” New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.

Others criticized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for remaining silent. Schumer’s silence perhaps comes as no surprise, given that the top Democrat has previously compared Omar to Donald Trump. As Business Insider reported, Schumer compared Omar’s comments about Israel’s right-wing lobby, AIPAC, to Trump’s infamous Charlottesville remarks.

Ilhan Omar has also responded to the attacks. “No one person — no matter how corrupt, inept, or vicious — can threaten my unwavering love for America,” she tweeted.