Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is a member of
Congress. Let me repeat that. Ms. Omar is a member of Congress. So
how dare Elliot Abrams, 45's nominee as Venezuelan envoy presume to
interrupt the Congresswoman as she made a statement and interrogated
him? He was relatively docile when white people questioned him, but
was angry and ignorant in his response to the Congresswoman. His
behavior was disgraceful. He said he "would not respond to a
personal attack," although he was the one who pled guilty to
withholding information from Congress and was later pardoned for his
must commend Congresswoman Omar on her focused and poised
interrogation. I must condemn Mr. Abrams for his rude defiance to
the Congresswoman. Their exchange is illuminating because it
encapsulates the change in tone and tenor in Congress. Old white men
can hold onto their privilege, but younger women, some women of
color, aren't' having it. They are doing what they need to do to
provide for the people who elected them.
Omar's interrogation of Elliot Abrams has a back-story. Last week
she tweeted that the blind Congressional support of Israel is "all
about the Benjamins." Jewish people were disturbed that her
remarks were anti-Semitic (I don't necessarily think so), and she
apologized in the face of pressure. But now the deranged "leader"
in the White House has called for her resignation (despite his own
hateful, racist, anti-Semitic and other statements) and
Vice-President Pence said there should be "consequences"
for her comments (although no one has ever experienced consequences
for genital grabbing). There have been calls for Omar to lose her
seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. She prevailed, with
dignity, in her questioning of the corrupt Elliot Abrams. She is to
let me say, how dare that man! How dare he disrespect a member of
Congress, something he would not have done if a white man were
questioning him! How dare he interrupt her, how dare he talk over
her, but thank you, Elliot Abrams, for projecting the many
experiences that Black women and other women of color have had in
corporate boardrooms and in other places where our voices are not
you are a pardoned liar. You are a shady scandal. You ought not to
be walking out among free folks, but 45 has pulled you out of the
disgraceful slush pile (yes, Hillary was right when she called some
folks "deplorables") to help our country interfere in yet
another free nation, Venezuela. You needed to sit at that table and
behave humbly, but humble is not in your vocabulary when your white
privilege collides with the Black power of a Congresswoman who has
the right to interrogate you. I get it; you didn't like it not one
bit. So here's a message you need to send back to your circle of
aging troglodytes – get ready for it!
the deal and here's the bottom line. There are 110 women in
Congress. There are congressional committees co-chaired by women on
both sides of the aisle. These are women who are not planning to put
up with your over talking shenanigans. These are women who are out
of time regarding you.
while democratic and Republican women aren't always on the same page,
the fact that of the 110 women in Congress, only 13 are Republican
speaks to the failures in your party. With 435 members in the House
of Representatives, equity means that at least 217 are women. On the
Democratic side, this increasingly means women of color, who are
staring down your white privilege and eviscerating it.
that man who occupies the People's House has the temerity to call for
Rep. Ilhan Omar's resignation oblivious of his own moral depravity.
She had the right response in a tweet, "You have trafficked in
hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous,
immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by
my words. When will you?" The fact is that 45 doesn't learn. If
he did, he would stop tweeting.
Omar has noted, "Anti-Semitism is real." At the same time,
it is important to note that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic.
The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is simply wrong and violates
every notion of human rights. The backlash against Angela Davis,
Marc Lamont Hill, Tamika Mallory, and Alice Walker is also wrong.
While we must address Anti-Semitism, we must also address the ways
that Israel has been oppressive to Palestinians and the ways that
Israel advocates have, especially, attempted to shut down Black
voices that embrace the human rights of ALL people, including
must also address the ways that a white male criminal was allowed to
behave badly and arrogantly when an elected member of Congress made a
statement and asked reasonable questions. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is
to be commended for her work. Elliott Abrams is to be condemned for
his rude and futile clinging to his sick white privilege!