During a campaign event in South Carolina on Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke accused President Trump of inciting violence, Newsweek reports.
O’Rourke described Trump’s September 11 tweet likening Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to Islamic terrorism as an “incitement of violence,” not only against Omar personally, but against all American Muslims.
“This is an incitement to violence against Congresswoman Omar, against our fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim.”
O’Rourke then went on to compare Trump’s tweet about Ilhan Omar to the president’s previous statements about Latin American immigrants.
“This is part and parcel of what we’ve seen from an administration that has described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals,” he said.
As Newsweek notes, O’Rourke’s latest statements are much stronger than his initial condemnation of Trump’s rhetoric. The Texas Democrat faced criticism for making a more general statement and failing to directly defend Omar, but he has now, it seems, delivered.
“We are stronger than this president’s hatred and Islamophobia. Do not let him drive us apart or make us afraid,” O’Rourke’s first statement read.
The Democratic presidential contender is not the first Democrat to come under fire for, critics claim, failing to properly defend Ilhan Omar. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, progressive activists and journalists have repeatedly criticized the Democratic leadership’s response, calling out top Democrats like Chuck Schumer for remaining silent.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire from progressives, who felt that her statement had driven a false equivalence between Ilhan Omar’s comments and Donald Trump’s video. Omar, discussing the general crackdown on civil liberties in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, argued that the Muslim community had been disproportionately affected by it.
Trump and his right-wing allies spread a video montage featuring Omar’s statements taken out of context. The video shows Omar saying “some people did something” on September 11, as the World Trade Center towers burn.
Nearly all Democratic 2020 presidential contenders have since released statements of their own, condemning President Trump’s actions. Much like Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren suggested that Trump’s tweet is inciting violence against Ilhan Omar.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, death threats against the Minnesota congresswoman have surged.
This is not the first time for Ilhan Omar to be targeted by right-wing politicians and media personalities — she has already been the target of many similar attacks.
On April 6, a 55-year-old New York man named Patrick Carlineo was charged with threatening to assault and kill the Democrat, according to CNN.