Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) offered to contribute to a ticket to Somalia for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a former refugee and American citizen who escaped violence in her birth country of Somalia as a child. Paul's comments come weeks after President Donald Trump's racist tweets against four congresswomen of color, including Omar, suggesting they "go back" to their countries.
“Well, [Omar] came here and we fed her, we clothed her, she got welfare, she got [schooling], she got healthcare, and then, lo and behold, she has the honor of actually winning a seat in Congress, and she says we’re a terrible country?" Paul said. "I think that’s about as ungrateful as you can get.”
“And so — I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia, and I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia — that has no capitalism, has no God-given rights guaranteed in a constitution, and has about seven different tribes that have been fighting each other for the last 40 years, and then maybe after she’s visited Somalia for a while, she might come back and appreciate America more.”
People found Paul's words to be patronizing and offensive.
Paul's words also present the expectation that citizens like Omar, who has been a naturalized American for over two decades, don't have the right to criticize the United States or question is policies.
Speaking of appreciating America more, it's worth noting that Paul was recently one of only two senators to vote against permanently funding healthcare for 9/11's first responders.