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Rep. Omar Calls Trump Racist in New Op-Ed

She writes that the 'send her back!" chant will be a 'defining moment' in US history
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2019 11:26 AM CDT
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., holds a town hall on July 18, 2019, in Minneapolis.   (Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Star Tribune via AP)

(Newser) – The rally during which supporters of President Trump chanted "send her back!" wasn't just a blip on the political radar, writes Rep. Ilhan Omar in the New York Times. It "will be a defining moment in American history," writes the Somalia native, who was actually the subject of the chant. "It reminds us of the grave stakes of the coming presidential election: that this fight is not merely about policy ideas; it is a fight for the soul of our nation." Omar accuses Trump of "weaponizing" divisions in the US with "racist rhetoric" and of implementing policies—such as restrictions on Muslim migrants to the US and the "caging of immigrant children"—that undermine democracy itself.

"It is not enough to condemn Mr. Trump’s racism," the Minnesota lawmaker writes. "We must affirmatively confront racist policies." Similarly, "it is not enough to condemn the corruption and self-dealing of this administration," adds Omar. "We must support policies that unmistakably improve working people’s lives, including by strengthening collective bargaining, raising the minimum wage, and pursuing a universal jobs guarantee." The best moments in US history have risen out of similar fights, writes Omar, who concludes with a twist on Trump's famous slogan. "Today, democracy is under attack once again," she writes. "It's time to respond with the kind of conviction that has made America great before." Read the full column. (Read more Ilhan Omar stories.)

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