Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) came under fire for tweets many considered antisemitic when criticizing the amount of political donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
While the PAC is certainly influential, many felt that accusing it of using money to control Washington fed into the antisemitic conspiracy theory that a network of Jewish people use their money to sway the world in their favor. Omar soon heartily apologized.
Listening and learning, but standing strong 💪🏽 https://t.co/7TSroSf8h1— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1549914419.0
However, it wasn't enough for President Donald Trump, who called on her to resign and dismissed her apology as lame.
"Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”
President Trump says Rep. Omar's apology for Israel tweets was 'lame' https://t.co/Pux5QOncwm https://t.co/JNNBi5r5OX— TIME (@TIME) 1550008814.0
Omar soon fired back, and she didn't mince words.
"You have trafficked in hate your whole life––against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?"
Hi @realDonaldTrump- You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, b… https://t.co/FmaD0tcsGu— Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan Omar) 1550066222.0
Many agreed and came to the Congresswoman's defense.
@IlhanMN @realDonaldTrump Good for you. Trump is the last person who should be calling out anyone about hatred of any group.— debdlund (@debdlund) 1550067243.0
@IlhanMN @realDonaldTrump Donald, you should resign. I think Ilhan speaks for many people who have gone without rep… https://t.co/ApE6109Epf— Kathleen (@Kathleen) 1550068156.0
@IlhanMN @realDonaldTrump I still can't see why you felt the need to apologize. Criticising the Israeli government… https://t.co/LwGlcHqSIa— Pablito (@Pablito) 1550067034.0
@IlhanMN @realDonaldTrump This man was silent when Steve King said what is wrong w/ being a white nationalist & sup… https://t.co/LfsKDhipzc— Luqman Nation (@Luqman Nation) 1550068245.0
@IlhanMN @realDonaldTrump I forgive you and applaud how quickly you are acting for betterment and unification. That was easy.— Brian Neises (@Brian Neises) 1550067282.0
The controversy surrounding Omar's comments began after she implied that money spent by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a lobbyist group, was responsible for many pro-Israel positions among politicians in Congress.
After legislators on both sides of the aisle condemned her remark, Omar issued an apology.
Trump’s history of racial animus is well documented. A few examples are listed below.
- In the 1980s, he insisted that the Central Park Five, four African American juveniles and one Hispanic juvenile who were convicted of a rape and assault they did not commit, were guilty anyway, even though a convicted rapist and murderer already serving a life sentence in prison confessed to the crime and DNA evidence confirmed his guilt.
- In January 2018, he was criticized for making disparagingly racist remarks calling Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.”
- In August 2018, he was accused of taking a talking point straight from the playbook of white nationalists when he said he’d asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures.”
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriati… https://t.co/iE6t1j1dak— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534991325.0
Land reform––more specifically “land restitution”––was one of the promises made by the African National Congress when it came to power in South Africa in 1994, in response to the Native Lands Act of 1913. which “prohibited the establishment of new farming operations, sharecropping or cash rentals by blacks outside of the reserves” on which they were forced to live. White nationalists have claimed that the movement has sparked a “genocide” against white farmers who’ve opposed redistributing lands.
- Trump also came under fire on the campaign trail for referring to Mexicans as “rapists” and “murderers.” In the days after the body of Mollie Tibbetts, a Brooklyn, Iowa college student was found, Trump and many conservatives seized on the fact that the suspect, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, is a Mexican national who authorities say was in the country illegally, and have used the murder to make the case for harsher immigration legislation.
- Last summer, the president and his administration created a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border when he and Jeff Sessions, his former attorney general, announced their “zero tolerance” family separations policy. The president blamed Democrats for the policy, imploring them to “start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration.”
It is the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime. Tell them to start thinki… https://t.co/P1CiI0U73I— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1529330028.0
The president denied that he or Sessions had anything to do with the policy, even as he admitted that the policy was a negotiating tool to get Democrats to cave to his demands (which include tougher border security as well as a wall erected along the nation’s southern border).
The president's racially charged statements have prompted commentators such as CNN's Don Lemon, whom Trump once derided as "the dumbest man on television," to observe that he “divides by race and tries to conquer decency by smearing and besmirching the truth.”