Many thought President Donald Trump’s racism had reached a new low with tweets urging four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they came from.
But at a North Carolina rally Wednesday night, the president and his supporters proved they still had greater depths to sink to. When Trump unleashed a slew of lies about Somalian-American Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the crowd broke into a chant that disturbed Americans across the country.
The crowd bellowed:
“Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!”
Congresswoman Omar, however, doesn’t intend to cower to the rallying cries of racists.
She responded with a quote from Maya Angelou’s seminal poem Still I Rise…
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.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
…Before making it clear that she won’t be going anywhere.
Omar’s supporters praised her strength and resolve in the face of bigotry.
I seriously can’t believe how strong and fierce you are in the face of all this. Absolute inspiration. #IStandWithIlhan
— Darren Puscas (@darrenpuscas) July 18, 2019
Courage has a name and a face. And it’s Ilhan Omar. Many blessings
— Xeni (@xeni) July 18, 2019
Many Democratic lawmakers spoke out against Trump’s eagerness to enable racists.
#IStandWithIlhan and am proud to work with her in Congress.
Trump is stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society. And that very hatred and racism fuels him. We must fight together to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 18, 2019
It defiles the office of the President.
And I won't share it here.
It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2019
"Send her back?" Yes! Please send @Ilhan back to Congress where she is fighting for her constituents, articulating a bold vision of progressive foreign policy, and expanding the public’s imagination of what a Member of Congress looks like. https://t.co/k92VYcLBpi
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) July 18, 2019
Even some of Trump’s most prominent supporters—albeit weakly—criticized Trump for allowing the chant.
Though it was brief, I struggled with the “send her back” chant tonight referencing Rep. Omar. Her history, words & actions reveal her great disdain for both America & Israel. That should be our focus and not phrasing that’s painful to our friends in the minority communities.
— Rep. Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) July 18, 2019
I deeply disagree with the extreme left & have been disgusted by their tone. I woke up today equally disgusted – chants like “send her back” are ugly, wrong, & would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers. This ugliness must end, or we risk our great union.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) July 18, 2019
Vile. Omar is awful. She is a radical anti-Semite with terrible views. She is also an American citizen and chanting for her deportation based on her exercise of the First Amendment is disgusting. https://t.co/Y4nzHPzba4
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 18, 2019
Even Fox & Friends wouldn’t endorse it.
"Fox and Friends" reacts to the "send her back" chanting at Trump's North Carolina rally pic.twitter.com/3dDPmPbrV6
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 18, 2019
With Trump so emboldened, it looks like the 2020 election may be even uglier than 2016.