Ilhan Omar Quotes Maya Angelou In Response To Donald Trump’s ‘Racist’ Tweets: ‘But Still, Like Air, I’ll Rise’

Ilhan Omar turned to the words of famed poet Maya Angelou in response to attacks from Donald Trump widely decried as racist.

The Minnesota Congresswoman was the target of a series of tweets from Donald Trump over the weekend in which he told her and three other congresswomen of color to go back to their “original” countries. Omar is a naturalized citizen of the United States, and the other three had been born in the United States.

As Trump continued to double down on the attacks and even revived the allegedly racist attacks at a campaign rally, Omar turned to Angelou for her response. Taking to Twitter, the freshman member of Congress quoted the poem “Still I Rise,” which is about overcoming abuse, prejudice, and injustice.

“You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise,” Omar wrote on Twitter.

Omar was responding to reports that a Trump campaign rally erupted in cries of “Send her back!” when Trump attacked Omar. As NPR noted, Trump laid into the four congresswomen during the rally in North Carolina, again painting them as un-America.

“They’re always telling us how to run [the country]… you know, if they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said.

As many pointed out, Donald Trump ran in 2016 on a platform in which he highlighted what he believed to be the poor conditions of the United States, promising that he alone knew how to run the country and vowing to “Make America great again.”

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he is “not happy” with the reaction to his tweets, which include members of both sides of the aisle decrying the attacks as racist. As The Hill noted, Trump had stood by his statements amid the increasing pushback, refusing to take back the tweet or apologize for the attack seen as racist.

Trump went on to suggest that the real racism is in the response to his tweet.

“The only thing they have, that they can do is, now, play the race card, which they’ve always done,” he said.

Donald Trump has long been accused of racism, dating back to the 1970s when his company was sued for refusing to rent apartments to black applicants. He has made a number of other racially charged statements, including sharing fabricated crime statistics intended to make black people look violent, one that the political blog Little Green Footballs traced back to an avowed Nazi supporter.

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