Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has published an op-ed in the New York Times on Thursday in which she urges readers to go beyond condemning President Donald Trump as a racist, and “confront” his policies. Along the way, she confirms Trump’s basic criticism of her: namely, that she does not like the United States of America, at least as she finds it.
In the op-ed, “It Is Not Enough to Condemn Trump’s Racism,” Omar repeats a set of familiar — and discredited — attacks on Trump. The most egregious of these is her claim that Trump “tacitly accepted” the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, who chanted “Jews will not replace us” at a rally in August 2017.
In fact, Trump explicitly condemned them, several times, doing so “in the strongest possible terms” (Aug. 12, 2017), calling them “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans” (Aug. 14), and saying they should be “condemned totally” (Aug. 15).
Nowhere does Omar address her long history of antisemitic and racist statements, including a recently unearthed interview with Al-Jazeera in 2018 in which she said that Americans ought to be “more fearful of white men.” Omar dodges criticism of her antisemitism by accusing Trump of “efforts to pit religious minorities against one another.”
She also repeats a number of false claims about the administration’s policies, decrying “the caging of immigrant children at the border or the banning of Muslim immigrants or the allowing of segregation in public housing.”
But the most telling passage in Omar’s op-ed is when she describes her feelings about America — the country that sent its soldiers to die in defense of her native country, Somalia, and the country where her family found refuge. She describes the discrepancy between “the America we expected to find and the one we actually experienced,” adding:
The America we arrived in was different from the one my grandfather had hoped to find. The land of opportunity he imagined in 1992 was in fact full of challenges. People identified me in ways that were foreign to me: immigrant, black. I learned that these identities carried stigmas, and I experienced prejudice as a visibly Muslim woman.
Omar never expresses gratitude toward the United States. She acknowledges that “our Constitution and democratic institutions are the tools to make it better,” but the country and its people, as they are, are simply not good enough.
In so doing, Omar proves Trump’s criticism of her and the so-called far-left “Squad” correct. She does not like the United States of America; she is willing to lie about it; and she refuses to check her ugly prejudices at the door.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.