In scoring their cheap political points, Fox News and the New York Post and the president of the United States himself are directly contributing to a perilous climate of vigilantism that threatens not only Omar but really every Muslim in America today.
On one level, it’s clear why Omar is subject to these attacks. Omar is black, a woman, an immigrant, a refugee and a Muslim. The fact that racism, sexism and bigotry drive a double-standard where Omar faces criticism while others received little to no scrutiny for the same comments is self-evident.
But that’s also not the full explanation. This double standard that is applied to Omar is meant to keep us from listening to what she is actually saying and doing. To call Stephen Miller a white nationalist, as Omar did, is to state an obvious truth. Omar added that “the fact that he still has influence on policy and political appointments is an outrage.” Rather than paying attention to her words, Omar was again caricatured as an anti-Semite. “Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has a well-documented history of antisemitic comments, social media posts and relationships,” the White House said, “so it’s not surprising that she would wildly attack a Jewish member of the administration.”