Things That Matter

The Latino Community Overlaps With Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Identity And We Need To Support That Community

ilhanmn / itssarapearl / Instagram

Many of us have rallied behind the youngest Latina ever to be elected to Congress. We’ve lambasted critics who pick apart what car her tía drives, what lipstick she wears, and her Spanish accent. Supporting strong women of color in politics does matter because they are under far more scrutiny than any other politician whose views might align with our own.

For Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the magnifying glass is arguably worse than for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While Ilhan Omar’s ideology is most closely similar to AOC than of any other Congressperson to date, Omar is receiving death threats on a daily basis.

To fight against systemic oppression and racism towards Latinos and to ignore the Islamophobia and racism facing Rep. Ilhan Omar would be hypocritical.

CREDIT: @chadloder / Twitter

That’s why AOC supporters should stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar. Here are some reasons why the first Somali-American woman in Congress needs the support of other communities under fire by the current administration.

Her primary offense is that she’s a strong, black Muslim woman in Congress.

CREDIT: @MPower_Change / Twitter

Omar is the first refugee to be elected to Congress and she’s working to combat systemic Islamophobia in this country. Her campaign path to election rode on tearing down Trump’s Muslim ban. She’s not loved by the GOP.

During a speech, Omar defended her religion against the nationwide presumption that an entire religion is responsible for the actions of extremists.

CREDIT: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

She was speaking to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), when she said, “Far too long we [Muslims] have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”

The horrible thing Omar said was that “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Then, The New York Post published this on their front page:

CREDIT: @seanhannity / Twitter

Fox News personality Sean Hannity tweeted it out, as a means to persuade the public that Rep. Omar was downplaying the tragedy of 9/11. Conservative outlets are trying to tout that Omar doesn’t consider the event a terrorist attack. 🤔

Then, the President of the United States tweeted out this:

CREDIT: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

It was a video stitched together of Omar saying “some people did something” with horrific footage of 9/11, along with the caption, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”

“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video.”

CREDIT: @ScottDAngelo / Twitter

One man has been arrested for a credible death threat to the Congresswoman and hundreds of Twitter users have directly tweeted unspeakable threats to her. The Anaheim chapter of CAIR has also since received a bomb threat.

Several Democrats have rejected Omar’s financial contributions to their campaigns.

CREDIT: @lucymcbath / Twitter

Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath rejected a $2,000 donation that was made on March 27. North Carolina’s 9th congressional district candidate Dan McCready even refunded $2,000 to Omar because of her “divisiveness.”

Some Twitter users noted that they wouldn’t be supporting McBath or McCready’s campaigns any longer.

The New York Times has published several pieces against the Congresswoman.

CREDIT: @tomscocca / Twitter

She got into some trouble in February for saying “money talks” in regards to the U.S.’s favor of the state of Israel in regards to its occupation of Palestine.

Rep. Omar’s supporters are calling out her critics.

CREDIT: @tomscocca / Twitter

The New York Times opinion piece entirely misquoted Omar as an effort to bring her down with one clause in a sentence. Critics are tweeting things like, “Ilhan Omar becomes the first Congressperson to refer to 9/11 as ‘some people did something.’ Unbelievable.”

The double standard for a black Muslim woman versus a rich, white male celebrity is appalling.

CREDIT: @RyanHillMI / Twitter

The country is in an uproar over Ilhan saying “some people did something” when POTUS called Charlottesville Nazis “some very fine people.” We cannot forget that the president of the United States also called himself a proud nationalist.

Minnesotans are rallying together to show their support for the Congresswoman.

CREDIT: @OrganizingWomen / Twitter

The attacks she’s experienced by the right are completely disproportional to what she has said, especially given the rhetoric of the president, who has sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Many feel this is just another example of how strong women of color are overly criticized.

AOC tweeted out this reminder for us all to support Omar:

CREDIT: @AOC / Twitter

If we, as Latinos, don’t come through to support Omar as she faces dog whistle racist remarks from our President, then how can we expect any non-Latinos to speak out against putting brown children in cages?

Omar is a living, breathing example of how Islamophobia derides any effort for Muslims to regain first-class citizen status.

Omar was simply speaking to her experience with unjustified islamophobia.

CREDIT: @AOC / Twitter

Nobody will ever forget what happened on September 11, 2001. It’s a tragedy has become part of our collective American consciousness.

There’s no question that America wrongly turned to our fellow Muslim Americans with suspicion and even violent hatred. Media began this islamophobic stereotype that Muslim values cannot align with American values and that Muslims are inherently un-American.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Julián Castro has publicly sided with Omar.

CREDIT: @juliancastro / Twitter

In a tweet, Castro firmly spoke out against Omar’s attackers:

“I am grateful for @IlhanMN‘s courage and leadership and I stand with her – and with others targeted by the President’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

“It is not anti-Semitic to be critical of a right-wing government in Israel.”

CREDIT: @DemSocialists / Twitter

During the #BernieTownHall on Fox News, Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, defended Ilhan against the incessant attacks she’s received in her short term. Bernie Sanders has cracked open the taboo subject of Israeli President Netanyahu’s occupation of Palestine by telling Intercept that he would cut US aid to Israel if the injustice continued.

An entire Presidential candidate is proof that you can be Jewish and stand with Omar.

CREDIT: @BernieSanders / Twitter

Trump has no qualms about his tweet. He told reporters that Omar has “a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. She’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”

If that’s not a dog whistle we don’t know what is.

Jewish organizations have voiced their support for Omar.

CREDIT: @jewishaction / Twitter

We are all entitled to speak about our experience of racism and fight to change the status quo. All this has prompted tweets like this one from POTUS:

“Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made. She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!”

Amidst all this, Omar has officially introduced the No Ban Act to Congress.

CREDIT: @MuslimAdvocates / Twitter

In Omar’s own words, “I ran on a promise to end the president’s hateful effort to ban a single religion from entering this country. Last week, I introduced the #NoBanAct to finally end this discrimination.”

Omar may arguably be putting her life in more danger, but won’t back down from protecting Muslims in the U.S.

CREDIT: @IlhanMN / Twitter

“This country was founded on the ideas of justice, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness,” she tweeted. “But these core beliefs are under threat. Each and every day. We are under threat by an administration that would rather cage children than pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

We stand with you, Rep. Omar.

CREDIT: @AdalahJustice / Twitter

“I did not run for Congress to be silent. I did not run for Congress to sit on the sidelines. I ran because I believed it was time to restore moral clarity and courage to Congress. To fight and to defend our democracy,” she tweeted.

Thank you for your service.

READ: AOC Has Made Roasting Her Twitter Trolls And Haters An Art Form And We’re Mesmerized

Here’s What Is So Disturbing About Seeing Conservative White Men Pretending To Assault And Choke AOC’s Cutout Picture

Things That Matter

Here’s What Is So Disturbing About Seeing Conservative White Men Pretending To Assault And Choke AOC’s Cutout Picture

Since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began her career as a politician, Republicans have picked her out as a target for their hate and criticism. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t come from a traditional political background. Maybe it’s because she has loudly protested Republican policies and talking points in the past. Or maybe it’s because she’s a young Latina who won’t take any of their abuse.

Either way, AOC has received a lot of ire from conservatives and that doesn’t seem to be letting up.

The hate has continued over the weekend as Mitch McConnell supporters posted a grossly inappropriate image involving a cardboard cut out of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram.

Twitter / @emrazz

In the photo, a group of young white men surround a cardboard cut out of Representative Ocasio-Cortez. One young man is shown embracing and kissing the image of the representative while another mimics holding the Latina by the neck, choking her. The post was originally made on Instagram before it was shared onto Twitter and was captioned with the suggestive, “Break me off a piece of that.”

The pictures were taken at an event called the Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Kentucky. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was a speaker at the event. His social media team even posted their own controversial photo that involved tombstones with the names of McConnell’s political rivals. In his time as Majority Leader, McConnell has worked to oppose bipartisanship, blocking many motions that have come from Democrats in Senate and killing the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court so this is nothing new from the Senator.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez was quick to respond to the image Monday night when it began trending on Twitter.


Twitter / @aoc

“Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you,” Representative Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday night. “Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”

It’s been well documented that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has received threats of violence, death and rape from far-right supporters and those that oppose the Democratic party. A cop in Lousiana recently got fired for threatening the representative on social media. The exposed Facebook group belonging to ICE agents also had Photoshopped pictures of Rep Ocasio-Cortez being sexually abused and harmed. So, this Instagram post is just one of many situations when conservatives have threatened violence — whether seriously or as a depraved joke — against the Latina.

McConnell’s campaign responded to the post via the Washington Post denying any relation to the young men in the picture.

Twitter / @frankthrop

Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager put out the following statement:

“These young men are not campaign staff. They’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country. Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning acts toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender.”

It’s important to note that these young men also attend Covington Catholic School — the same school that produced the teens who disrupted the January 2018 Native American demonstration. During that controversy, McConnell and team also defended the young men and put the blame on the media for calling attention to what they saw as a case of “boys being boys.”

The young men pictured in the Insta pic also had other disturbing props at the Fancy Farm Picnic.

Twitter / @StrangeShadows

The group also came equipped with large cardboard cutouts of Brett Kavanaugh’s face. Kavanaugh was made a Supreme Court Justice when McConnell blocked the nomination of Judge Garland despite there being major accusations of sexual assault and rape against Kavanaugh. These props are truly tasteless but make sense considering their photo with the AOC cut out.

Of course, Twitter was quick to call out the racism, misogyny, and danger that is at play with stunts like these.

Twitter / @saraialejandraa

As this post points out, images of cis white men choking a Latina is inherently racist, no matter if they were playing around or not. It’s also indicative of the misogyny that is laughed off and allowed in the Republican party. This Twitter user also suggested donating to McConnell’s opponent, Amy McGrath, for his 2020 Kentucky seat.

Speaking of McGrath, she also tweeted her condemnation for McConnell and the disturbing images that came out of the Kentucky event.

Twitter / @AmyMcGrathKY

The McConnell opponent tweeted her disbelief and her disapproval of the Senate Majority Leader’s use of death imagery in his political messaging — especially so soon after the tragedy in El Paso. We have witnessed the Republican party coyly encourage violence against progressives and then act innocently about it. It’s time to call these moments out for what they are: threats that could very well turn to brutality and death.

A Border Patrol Chief Caught In That Racist Facebook Group Says She Didn’t Know It Was Racist

Things That Matter

A Border Patrol Chief Caught In That Racist Facebook Group Says She Didn’t Know It Was Racist

Zach Gibson / Stringer / Getty Images

You’ve heard of #ICEBae, now get ready to meet #ICEQueen. On July, 24th, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol, Chief Carla Provost, appeared before a Congressional subcommittee hearing in Washington DC to answer questions about her involvement in that secret, racist Facebook group that was recently exposed.

As it turns out, she was in on it too.

At the beginning of July 2019, ProPublica broke the story about a secret Facebook page made up of active and former members of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Twitter / @MarshallProj

In the group, members shared disgusting pictures, memes, and messages about government officials and the same migrant detainees they were ordered to guard. In some posts, graphic threats were made against Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress. Other reports say that one particular post was dedicated to disputing the authenticity of a photo of a drowned man, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his young daughter.

Shortly after the discovery of the Facebook group, Chief Carla Provost publicly denounced the group and its sexist and racist content. In a public statement to the press, Provost declared:

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out. Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

However, in a wild twist, we probably should have seen coming, Provost has now admitted that she was also part of the 9,500 member group. 

Twitter / @Never270

Provost testified in front of the Congressional committee that though she was a member of the group, she rarely ever logged on to the social media site. She also claimed that she immediately reported herself to an oversight division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection after she realized she was a member of the same group she had condemned just weeks ago. 

During the hearing, Provost claimed that she gave her login and password to Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility. She went on to add that she hardly ever used her Facebook account — only using it to stay in touch with friends and colleagues whom she doesn’t often see.

Recent reports had already claimed that the ICE Queen was a member of this Facebook group. However, the Border Patrol Chief did not deny or confirm her membership before yesterday’s Congressional hearing. 

The ICE Queen admitted that she only joined the group after being told that agents were talking about her. 

Twitter / @christiansarkar

According to Provost, she accepted an invitation to the group back in 2017 when it was sent by a colleague. The colleague had told the Border Patrol Chief that her agents were discussing her performance as she was then the organization’s acting chief. Provost claimed that she would periodically search her name on Facebook and read the posts that she would find. The ICE Queen further went on to explain that she never noticed any of the specific groups that the posts came from.

The Border Patrol Chief also admitted to answering one specific post in the Facebook group. The post was supposedly about a question from the TV show “Jeopardy” and she saw that her agents were talking about her. The ICE Queen says that she was the subject of a Jeopardy question and that’s why the conversation mentioned her name. 

The Border Patrol Chief still committed to her denunciation of the Facebook group and the members who participated in the sexist and racist posts.  

Twitter / @Fogfaaja

“Let me be clear, on July 1 was the first time that I saw those highly offensive and highly unacceptable posts when I saw them in the ProPublica report,” Provost told lawmakers during the session. “I am as outraged as everyone else when it comes to the statements that were made on that page.”

Despite her condemnation of those who participated in the group, the ICE Queen insisted that, for the most part, Border Patrol guards are good people. 

Twitter / @Archerlady1

When suggestions were made that this Facebook page was indicative of a racist subculture within the Border Patrol agency, Provost pushed back. 

“I would still not call it a subculture,” she insisted. “The vast majority — 99-point-whatever percent — of our men and women are good hardworking American citizens who are doing the best they can in a very difficult crisis.”

Of the about 9,500 members of the group, only 62 current members and 8 former Border patrol agents are being investigated for posts and comments made. Provost used this fact to insist on the overall good of her agency. 

“A few bad apples are not representative of the organization,” Provost said. “There are bad doctors, there are bad nurses, there are bad teachers, but we don’t vilify the entire group.”

It should never be forgotten that these other professions do not house children in cages or separate families as part of their jobs like U.S. Border Patrol workers do. These agents are being investigated for a reason and their bad rap has more than been earned. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUh_wCbaGxo

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