Rep. Ilhan Omar responds to Trump rally ‘send her back’ chant with Maya Angelou verse
Refusing to be moved by the vicious cries of a rally of the president's supporters, the freshman congresswoman simply used a familiar line from a favorite poet
Rep. Ilhan Omar has fired back at Donald Trump’s supporters loudly screaming “send her back” during the president’s rally in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday night as his base continues to back up comments he made widely seen as racist and divisive.
Trump fired off a number of remarks at the event regarding statements Omar has made that he considers anti-American and anti-Semitic. The audience responded with the uproarious chant, in support of his Twitter remarks from last weekend in which he said Omar and three other ethnically diverse congresswomen, Reps. Alexandria Ocazio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, should “go back” to their countries, although they are all U.S. citizens and Omar is the only one who was not born in America.
In response to the Trump supporters calling for him to deport her (which cannot legally happen to U.S. citizens, even if they are naturalized), Omar quoted poet Maya Angelou on Twitter:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
She also retweeted California Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, who slammed the “racist chant” and urged people to “vote, donate & organize like never before” to save “the soul of our country.”
Lieu wasn’t alone in his support. Several politicians wasted no time slamming the wild cries including Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris.
It defiles the office of the President.
And I won't share it here.
It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2019
Minnesota State Senator Matt Klein and 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand also noted their support of Omar on Twitter.
Congresswoman Omar is staying here. I welcome your opinions on her policies. But if you think you are more American than her, you don’t know what America is, and it is you that should leave. https://t.co/DR7BWy7Soc
— Matt Klein (@MattKleinSD52) July 18, 2019
Whether it's "send her back" or "lock her up," "there has to be some form of punishment" or "grab her by the p***y"—the throughline is contempt for women and anyone who threatens this president's fragile ego.
He should be afraid. We are his worst nightmare. And we will beat him.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) July 18, 2019
Meanwhile, one of the women attacked by Trump, Ocasio-Cortez says the president’s rhetoric has become dangerous to many.
“This is not just about threats to individual members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts anyone, like Ilhan, anyone who believes in the rights of all people in danger and I think that he has a responsibility for that environment,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.