WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the last several days, right-wing pundits and politicians have attacked freshman Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for past statements she’s made regarding how the country reacted in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001.
At the heart of the matter? Ilhan used the phrase “some people” in an answer to a question about the rise of Islamaphobia in the wake of an attack that left the World Trade Center in rubble, and a hole in the Pentagon where a jet tried to break through. It was the largest terror attack on U.S. soil. The context for Omar’s comments on 9/11 is that she was speaking just days after a man in New Zealand unleashed a nightmarish rampage on three Mosques in that country, using a semiautomatic firearm to murder dozens of people.
“For far too long we 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. 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.” (Washington Post)
Omar’s use of non-specific nouns such as “some people” and “something” have outraged conservatives who feel it wasn’t respectful of the tragedy of 9/11. Right-wing podcaster Jethro Bohiggins said that Omar’s use of “common nouns” amounts to “re-9/11-ing” victims of the attack. Seizing on her words, people like Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Rush Limbaugh amplified a message, and even elected officials like Texas’ first official cycloptic Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R) jumped in to join the attack.
First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as “some people who did something”.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 9, 2019
When several key Democratic lawmakers started coming out to defend Omar from the right’s attacks, President Trump took that as his cue to enter the fray. He posted a video view Twitter that inter-cut Omar’s speech with violent, drastic imagery and sounds taken from the day of the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Trump’s tweet is below.
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
For a few days, Trump left his tweet “pinned” to the top of his account, meaning the first thing visitors would see would be the video. Trump’s actions drew strong rebuke from Democrats, who also defended Omar quite vociferously. Mr. Trump has unpinned the tweet in the last few hours, however during a meeting in the Oval Office with reporters present just a few moments ago, the president seemed unwilling to let the controversy die down any time soon.
“What gives that Omar woman the right to have an opinion in the first place,” Trump asked rhetorically. “Does she think she’s entitled to have an opinion and express it freely in this country? Uh-uh, Sweetheart. Not on my watch!”
An aide handed Trump a pocket copy of the Constitution of the United States of America. Turning the book to the First Amendment, the aide pressed her finger down on the page. She whispered into his year.
“So, it’s a freedom of speech deal, eh?! Well that still doesn’t explain why this particular Urban is speaking on this, or any, subject,” Trump insisted. “I’m told she’s not a Christian. So the Constitution doesn’t even apply to her! Is there anything in the Constitution specifically that says you can just belong to whatever religion you want?”
The aide once again pointed to the First Amendment. Trump farted and let out a long sigh.
“Wait, you mean she can say whatever she wants to and she can belong to any religion at all while doing it? Outrageous,” Trump demanded. “What cucks wrote this garbage? Well, we’re going to look into opening up the First Amendment laws then. I don’t see how that’s remotely fair, legal, or right for us to live in a society where anyone at any time can feel relatively safe in expressing any thoughts or feelings they want to. That sounds an awful lot like expression socialism, and I will not let that happen here in my country!”
This story is developing.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.