There are any number of reasonable ways she could have answered this question posed to her in 2018 on Al Jazeera, during her race for Congress. She chose to do it by blaming white men. But see, it’s Trump who is dividing us by race, and with racist statements:
Ilhan Omar contends that Americans “should be more fearful of white men.” pic.twitter.com/ot7PBF96P1
— Molly Prince (@mollyfprince) July 24, 2019
The next time a reporter gets her on TV, they should ask her to defend the racism of this comment.
I wonder what the Democratic presidential candidates think of Omar’s racially bigoted remarks. I wonder if journalists will ask them. My guess is that the media are going to try to ignore it. But there it is: blatant racism, from one of the fresh new faces of the Democratic Party.
UPDATE: Man, some of you liberal commenters just do not get this, at all.
Of course violent radicalized white males are a threat to public safety. Nobody denies that, or at least nobody can plausibly deny that. But you know what other radicalized whites are a threat to public safety? Antifa, which is a white thing.
You know what else is a much bigger threat to public safety than either Antifa or other radical whites? Black male crime. But if Donald Trump had told Americans that “black males” were a greater threat to America than jihadists, he would have been in a world of trouble — and should have been, because even though it might technically be true, given the wildly disproportionate black male crime rate, for a politician to say that is nakedly pandering to racial fear and loathing.
That’s what Omar did with her white male comment. It’s perfectly rational to ask a Muslim woman who was making a bid for Congress to answer a question about jihadism — because it is perfectly rational for Americans to be concerned about Islamic terror. She could have answered the question any number of ways. But she chose to demonize white males. She did this, most likely, because in progressive circles, it’s normal to speak of white males as monsters. Most people in the progressive Congressional district she represents wouldn’t hold that against her.
Donald Trump didn’t go as far as Ilhan Omar did with the racialized rhetoric, and I hope he doesn’t. But listen, so many on the left are so accustomed to this kind of talk — it’s all over the media, and in academia — that they can’t imagine how it sounds to people not like themselves.
This is where many in the Democratic Party are today. Hey, I get people being alarmed and angered by Trump’s racialized rhetoric. I am too! But if you think that Trump’s use of this kind of language, and these tropes, is the only thing of its kind, and the only racist political talk people can hear, you are deluding yourself.
A far-left Muslim Democrat was asked about jihadism, and answered by telling people that what they should really be afraid of is white males. That, liberals, is a problem. As you will discover.
UPDATE: I just saw a short clip from that interview that puts Omar’s comments into greater context:
It makes her comments less bad than they sounded initially, but still ridiculous and evasive. She seems to be saying (however badly) that if our policy towards monitoring people is based on the actual physical threat they pose towards the safety of others, then we should be monitoring white men, because they commit most crimes. She appears to be saying that as a way to discredit the idea that the state ought to be paying particular attention to monitoring Muslims. That’s a silly claim, and one that the (Muslim) interviewer presses her on, but doesn’t really get anywhere; Omar seems to blame right-wing Islamophobes for driving young American Muslims toward radicalism. That’s nuts, but it’s not quite the same thing as saying flat out that “white men are the biggest threat to public safety.” To be clear, she does say that, but her point in doing so is not to turn the nation’s law enforcement surveillance capacities on white men as white men, but rather to say that surveilling Muslims is wrong.
Again, I think it’s an evasive bad answer, but it is slightly different from the way her response sounds absent the rest of the context. I want to make that clear.