Ever since she was elected to Congress in 2018, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been a figure of much controversy, and often the subject of outlandish denunciations by her political opponents.
Omar, per NPR, was heavily criticized earlier this year for a series of comments that were interpreted by some as anti-Semitic. More recently, Omar has been a part of President Donald Trump’s continuing feud with “The Squad” of freshman Democratic Congresswomen, of which Omar is a part.
The president was widely denounced as racist earlier this week for a series of tweets suggesting that Omar and three of her colleagues leave the country. Omar, who was born in Somalia, is a naturalized American citizen, while the other three “Squad” members — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ayana Pressley of Massachusetts — were born in the United States.
The feud escalated on Wednesday night when, per The Inquisitr, the president denounced Omar at his rally in North Carolina, and the crowd began chanting “send her back.” The president, in an interview earlier on Wednesday, had repeated the rumor that Rep. Omar had once married her brother, per The Inquisitr.
Those chants were also widely denounced, even by some who have been extremely critical of Rep. Omar in the past.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted Wednesday night that, while he continues to believe Omar is an anti-Semite, “She is also an American citizen and chanting for her deportation based on her exercise of the First Amendment is disgusting.”
Ryan Saavedra, Shapiro’s colleague at the conservative website The Daily Wire, expressed similar sentiments.
“Chanting ‘send her back’ at Omar is not good,” Saavedra tweeted. “Keep in mind, I am one of her harshest critics.” He went on to suggest putting the energy from the chants into fundraising for opponents of the Congresswoman.
sounds like there was a lot of economic anxiety in North Carolina tonight https://t.co/n2V61jQUq2— Wesley (@WesleyLowery) July 18, 2019
“It saddens me beyond belief that the standard-bearer for the Republican Party, my Party, is making ‘Send her back’ his re-election rallying cry,” former Congressman Joe Walsh, a conservative Republican who has become a Trump critic after leaving office, tweeted Wednesday night. “It’s so ugly. It’s so un-American.”
“The ‘send her back’ chants were wrong, vile, and don’t reflect who we are as Americans,” Matt Brooks, head of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said on Twitter. “I strongly oppose [Rep. Omar’s] views and policies but those chants have no place in our society.”
In the replies of each of those tweets, however, were messages defending the chants.
“Those chants came from regular people, Matt,” said the first reply to Brooks’ tweet. “Maybe get in alignment with normal Americans or go somewhere else.” Others criticized the conservatives for having creating the environment for such chants with their previous anti-Omar rhetoric.