Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) stepped up in defense of fellow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) against sharp criticism toward Omar’s previous 9/11 remark, but it didn’t take long for the Republican group in Tlaib’s own state to answer with an “angry” response.
Omar’s comments during a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) event at the end of March seemingly downplayed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when she referred to it as “some people did something.”
Appearing on MSNBC on Thursday, Tlaib went on to blame the “racist” critics for taking the words from “women of color” out of context, adding that Omar “does speak truth.”
“This is just pure racist act by many of those — hateful acts by those — because she does speak truth,” Tlaib said.
“I’m really outraged because as a person that has gotten direct death threats myself, I know that her life is put in more danger,” Tlaib continued in defense, calling for people to “stop targeting her this way.”
Watch Tlaib’s comments on Omar below (around 3:10):
“Far too long, we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen,” Omar said at the CAIR event. “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,” Omar added.
Watch Omar make the comments below:
Tlaib’s defense of Omar didn’t settle well with the Michigan Republican Party, as it explained on Twitter on Thursday that “we are angry because Rep. Omar talked about 9/11 like it was nothing.”
The group, Michigan GOP, called it “unbelievable” for Tlaib to think it’s “upset because this was said by a woman, and we are racist.”
“We lost thousands of brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers in 9/11,” it added.
We are angry because Rep. Omar talked about 9/11 like it was nothing. For you, @RashidaTlaib to say that we are upset because this was said by a woman, and we are racist, is unbelievable.
— Michigan GOP (@MIGOP) April 11, 2019
As IJR Red reported, the New York Post took up the controversial remark with its Thursday cover depicting a photo of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and telling Omar, “Here’s your something. 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”
— Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) April 11, 2019
Tlaib also denounced the Post’s cover message:
The NY Post knows exactly what it's doing – taking quotes out of context and evoking painful imagery to spread hate and endangering the life of Rep. Omar. Shame on them, and shame on Rupert Murdoch.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) April 11, 2019
When Omar accused Crenshaw of “dangerous incitement,” he doubled down that he “did not incite any violence” against her, adding that she “described an act of terrorism on American soil that killed thousands of innocent lives as ‘some people did something.'”
“It’s still unbelievable, as is your response here,” Crenshaw said.