Things That Matter

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

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

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Faced Close Encounter And Feared For Her Life

Things That Matter

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Faced Close Encounter And Feared For Her Life

aoc / Instagram

We are getting a better look into what happened at the U.S. Capitol when Trump supporters stormed the building. There have been stories of politicians with military history saving lives and horrific revelations. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently let the world know that she had a moment when she feared for her life.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is speaking out after the violent day at the Capitol building.

In an hour-long Instagram Live video, Rep. AOC spoke frankly about what happened while far-right Trump supporters stormed the building. The unruly mob turned a usually ceremonious and boring function of Congress, certifying the electoral votes, into one of the darkest days for our democracy. For Rep. AOC, it was almost the end of her life.

“As for myself, I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me. I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event due to security concerns,” she said in her Instagram Live while recounting the insurrection of Jan. 6. “I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die and you have all of those thoughts where, you know, at the end of your life, and all of these thoughts come rushing to you. That’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday. I did not think, I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. Not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense.”

Rep. AOC also used her Instagram Live to talk about the traitorous acts she witnessed.

At the beginning of the video, Rep. AOC highlights the Republicans who helped create the dangerous insurrection. She did not hold back on naming some of the people she holds responsible for inciting the mob through rhetoric and political ambition.

“Wednesday, as you know, the president, frankly assisted by members of Congress, incited an attack on the United States Capitol,” Rep. AOC says in the video. “This is known as an act of insurrection, an act of sedition. Frankly, he is a traitor to our country, a traitor to the United States and I don’t think there’s another way you can put it. I don’t think there’s another way to put, there’s no other way to put it.”

She continued adding: “If you are Senator Ted Cruz or Senator Josh Hawley, and frankly if you are many members of Congress, you cast that vote not out of genuine belief, but you cast it out of political ambition. That is what they did. They incited an attack on the Capitol and many many many members of Congress were almost murdered. Many Congressional staffers were almost killed. Many children, children of members of Congress, were there. Children.”

Rep. AOC is not the only member of Congress sounding the alarm about colleagues making this happen.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., came forward to tell people about how she saw Republican members of Congress allegedly working with the rioters.

“We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,” Rep. Sherrill said during a live webcast Tuesday. “And so not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff reported her own terrifying moment.

Sarah Groh told Boston Globe that she and her husband were in Rep. Pressley’s office and barricaded the door with furniture. That was when she tried to use the panic buttons for help, which she had done before. Despite never changing offices, Groh said that all of the panic buttons were gone.

READ: Ted Cruz Among Senators Facing Backlash And Calls To Resign After Mob Breaches US Capitol

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