On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump renewed his attacks on Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar and the rest the three other junior congresswomen of color known as “the squad” whose progressive policies and social media savvy have been grabbing headlines since last November’s midterms. Trump’s new statements came during a rally in Greenville, North Carolina.
As Trump lashed out at Omar, saying she “looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans and saying that ‘ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,'” the crowd launched into a chant of “send her home,” echoing the last few days of attacks from Trump’s Twitter account.
After infamously launching a racist tirade over Twitter in which he told Congresswomen Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump has doubled and tripled down on his stance, launching into Omar, a Muslim and American-Somalian refugee, with particular malice, accusing her of supporting al-Quaeda. The Washington Post could find no evidence of this.
RELEVANT spoke with Christian hip-hop artist Derek Minor, who said the attacks reminded him of racism that he himself has faced in his own life, calling it “the most racist thing.” This conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.
“I remember people saying that to me as a child,” Minor says. “I grew up in the rural South and I’m thinking ‘I’ve never even been to Africa!’ To this day I’ve never been to Africa. So I really connected with those ladies when I heard [Trump] say that because that is just racist. Just ‘go back to where you came from’ when the only place you know is America?”
Minor went onto say that he finds the white evangelical Church’s unflinching allegiance to Trump concerning, and does not believe that conservative legislative aims justify the partnership.
“You look at the Church and it’s like ‘Well, we need these Supreme Court Justices’ or ‘we’re anti-abortion’ etcetera, etcetera. There has to be a way we can get those things without playing dirty,” he says. “I don’t believe in the idea of the lesser of two evils. I believe we side with people that are honoring the Lord. And I don’t think Christians should ever say ‘I’m gonna align with this party, ride or die.’ I think we should always look at everyone and say ‘Well, what lines up most with what I believe’?”
But he admitted, that may well be the issue.
“I think the problem is, Donald Trump actually lines up most with what a lot of evangelicals believe,” he says. “That’s the scary thing in America. It’s really scary.”
The chants that broke out in North Carolina brought widespread condemnation, even by some Republicans who have been hesitant to label Trump’s language as racist. Daily Wire reporter and self-described “harshest critic” of Omar Ryan Saavedra tweeted this.
Anyone who follows me knows that I cover the far-left and that includes Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and I'm aggressive in my reporting which comes from a conservative angle
With that said, chanting "send her back" at Omar is not good
Keep in mind, I am one of her harshest critics
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 18, 2019
Likewise Reverend Chuck Currie, a United Church pastor and chaplain at Pacific University tweeted his support of Omar.
As a Christian minister, I stand with you @IlhanMN. People of good faith must stand opposed to the president’s racism and crowds chanting ”Send Her Back.” You are home. Where you belong. And the United States is better for it.
— Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie (@RevChuckCurrie) July 18, 2019
For her own part, Omar tweeted a Maya Angelou poem, saying
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.
She also tweeted “I am where I belong.”
👋🏽 I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal! pic.twitter.com/W0OvDXGxQX
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019