Still she rises.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, the freshmen congresswoman who had been a target for racist attacks from President Donald Trump and his supporters this week, received cheers of support at her own unofficial rally at a Minnesota airport on Tuesday.
Congresswoman Omar just arrived back in the Twin Cities. pic.twitter.com/ZiFqWnDJgQ
— Tom Hauser (@thauserkstp) July 18, 2019
“He’s threatened because we are inspiring people to dream about a country that recognizes their dignity and humanity,” Omar told reporters at the airport after she landed according to CNN.
Omar’s fans had been planning to celebrate her return ever since the controversy begain earlier this week.
They also greeted her with a standing ovation at the top of a town hall she hosted about medicare, a sold out event whose location wasn’t widely advertised out of precautions for her safety.
“We care about her, we love her and she is representing our voice at the capitol,” said State Rep. Mohamud Noor, in a phone interview with theGrio from Minnesota.
Rep. Noor is also a member of the Minnesota’s Somali community, which he estimates is about 100,000 strong in population.
“The attacks on her were definitely targeted and we care about her safety. We want to make sure that she is protected. We want to make sure she knows that she has people who are supporting her 100 percent, fully, in her own district,” Noor continued.
“The President’s way of putting things, the chants- we can no longer be sitting on the sidelines, let me put it that way.”
Unbossed and Unbothered
For her part, Rep. Omar has shown grace under fire after Trump supporters chanted “send her back” during his campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday.
“I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!” Omar tweeted out after the shocking display of bigotry.
👋🏽 I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal! pic.twitter.com/W0OvDXGxQX
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
But according to CNN, Omar didn’t mention Trump’s name once during her Minnesota Town Hall. Instead she pushed the crowd to focus on urgent social issues like Medicare.
“I know there are a lot of people that are trying to distract us now, but I want you all to know that we are not going to let them,” said Omar.
“I’m going to continue to do the work on behalf of the 5th District, because you all sent me to Washington to do the important work of progressing our country.”
Somali-American Community Response
“We’ve had many people tell us go back where you came from, but this now coming from the President of the United States, the person whose supposed to be giving people hope, opening arms and saying this is your home, where you belong,” Rep. Noor tells theGrio.
Omar fled Somali violence and came to the United States in 1992 as a child, eventually becoming a citizen when she was 17 years old.
“It actually creates a lot of fear. Fear from people who have been persecuted by government,” Noor continues. “I’ve been getting calls. I can feel their pain when they talk about the sadness, when they talk about the fear.”
When asked about community response to the incident, Rep. Noor says support has come from all over in Minnesota, including from African-Americans and indigenous people who stand with Omar.
“This attack on the congresswoman is an attack on all of us.”