Patterico's Pontifications

4/13/2019

Rep. Omar Takes President Trump’s Words Out Of Context, Fans Cheer

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:32 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Piggybacking on Patterico’s post, I want to point out how quickly the goalposts move and the rules of the game change in partisan politics.

Last week, an 11-month old video hit the internet after President Trump’s visit to the U.S. Mexico border. According to critics, the President referred to immigrants and asylum seekers as “animals” in the video. While the clip confirms that he did use the word “animals” as a descriptor, the full video provides the necessary context which proves his critics wrong.

Here is a clip of the video (provided by C-SPAN):

Here is the full video (provided by CNN):

Here is the text of the exchange:

Sheriff Margaret Mims: “There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.”

President Donald Trump: “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”

Interestingly, here is how Rep. Ilhan Omar reacted 5 days ago to the re-released video:

Untitled

To the cheers of her supporters, Omar intentionally took Trump’s words out of context to bolster her continued criticism of his handling of border enforcement. Clearly it was a specific group of individuals coming across the border to whom Trump was referring. And they were not asylum seekers, in the way that Omar was referencing.

This makes it all the more rich to see Omar and her supporters now crying foul because they believe her 9/11 comments were taken out of context and twisted because of racism.

Two points: I watched the full video Omar’s comments, and she seems pretty clear in what she is saying. She is a grown woman and an elected official, therefore I am happy to give her credit for saying what she means and meaning what she says. With that, I am getting really tired of media types coming to the defense of Omar (along with Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) as if they were small children not responsible for their own words and deeds:

But there’s something distinctly racial (and gendered) about the aggression directed at Omar, who is black and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. She has been surrounded by controversy and personal attacks since she took office in January — attacks that are explicitly about silencing outspoken women of color.

And she is not the only one.

Oh bullshit. Claiming that mean old controversy keeps surrounding them conveys the belief that controversy just spontaneously happens completely apart from what these elected officials say and do, as if they have no agency, political will or presence. In my book, if you’re in public office, you better be ready to be criticized and raked over the coals for every damn word you say, and every action you take (on behalf of the American people) because that is part of the job. Blaming controversy as a whole on racism, or religion, or on an “effort to silence women of color” is just too convenient and easy. This thinking removes self-responsibility and agency, and replaces it with a poor me attitude. Knock it off. It’s like people believe Omar (and Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez) are innocents “surrounded by controversy” because it simply follows them home like some unwanted, uninvited intruder over whom they have absolutely no control. They are grown women who have been elected by Americans to represent them fairly and without reservation. If they want to court controversy by using provocative language directed at select groups of people, denigrate various pockets of Americans, or be dismissive of the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, let them. And let them own it as well. They’re adults, and they’re elected officials. Let’s let them be just that.

[Ed. There is no doubt that there are hateful individuals out there that are indeed racist and bigoted toward these women, and are offended by their presence in Congress. I don’t know any personally nor have I read any of their writings, but given human nature, there is clearly no doubt that they do exist. However, to believe that everyone who disagrees with, or is critical of Omar, Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez are by default, racist and bigoted, is simply being intellectually dishonest and lazy. Knock it off.]

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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