Ilhan Omar: Many Who Want to ‘Prematurely Reopen the Economy Aren’t Workers’

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 03: Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks at a campaign rally for Senator (I-VT) and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at the University of Minnesotas Williams Arena on November, 3, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before introducing him, Rep. Omar praised Sanders for his support of unions, comprehensive immigration …
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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Wednesday suggested that “far too many” of the individuals who are desperately urging officials to reopen the economy so they can resume earning a living and recover from economic hardship are not actually “workers.”

“Far too many of the people who want to prematurely reopen the economy aren’t workers, but the powerful and wealthy — those who benefit most from exploiting workers’ labor,” Omar proclaimed.

“The wealthy have a history of putting luxury over workers’ livelihoods, and this crisis is no different,” she added:

Omar’s assertion comes as citizens across the country gather to protest lockdown orders in their respective states, demanding officials reopen the economy so they can work and resume their livelihoods.

Breitbart News spoke to several of these “workers,” whose cries Omar appears to dismiss, at a handful of Reopen America protests last week.

“Why can’t we open businesses safely? Wy can’t I do small party shopping? Why can’t I do curbside? It doesn’t make any sense,” a Pennsylvania consignment store owner, who was forced to close and lay off her employees due to the shutdowns, told Breitbart News.

“Why is Target and Walmart allowed to sell kids clothing when I have to be shut down? It’s just not right,” she added:

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

“Six weeks, no work and no income,” Denisse Marquez, a licensed esthetician who attended the Pennsylvania protest, told Breitbart News.

“And that’s why I’m over here. I’m pissed off. I’ve got my two kids. We’re not in a communist country, we’re in the United States of America, and I’m here willing to die for my children’s freedom,” she continued:

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Jenee Welsh, a small business owner attending the Reopen Virginia Rally in the state’s capital last week, held a sign reading, “Terminology you understand! ABORT the stay at home order!” She explained that she had to “completely shut down for a month” and essentially lost her livelihood.

“So it was nothing. So my livelihood was, you know, gone and all the business loans didn’t count for people like us, because we’re so small,” she said:

Matt Perdie / Breitbart News

Demonstrators across the protests told similar stories. One Pennsylvania mom told Breitbart News that it is her “right to choose to work,” while a 56-year-old Ohioan told Breitbart News that she had been furloughed and had “never been unemployed or furloughed in my entire life.”

A Pennsylvania pastor added that his son, who works in the car business, is now “without income” due to the coronavirus and added, “And you know what? We’re not thrilled with taking other people’s money in the form of these stimulus checks — doesn’t really make us feel all that good.”

Additional rallies are expected to pop up across the country in the coming days. “MAGA May Day” freedom rallies are slated to take place on Friday, May 1, with protesters sending a pointed message to “local and state government tyrants” that it is time to responsibly reopen the country and allow Americans to get back to work.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Omar’s fellow “Squad” member, is also dismissing the cries to return back to work, urging Americans to refuse to return — even after the lockdown orders are lifted — to send a political message.

“We talk about this idea of ‘reopening society.’ Only in America does [President Trump] — when the president tweets about liberation, does he mean ‘go back to work,’” Ocasio-Cortez said during an appearance on VICE’s Seat at the Table with Anand Giridharadas.

“When we have this discussion about going back or reopening, I think a lot of people should just say, ‘No, we’re not going back to that,'” she continued.

“‘We’re not going back to working 70 hour weeks just so that we can put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives,'” she added.


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