Ilhan Omar Says She Is Where She Belongs After Trump Supporters Chant 'Send Her Back' at Rally
As President Trump spoke about Omar at his rally on Wednesday, his supporters began chanting "Send her back"
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is embracing her place in the United States.
Trump, 73, ripped into the lawmakers on Sunday — besides Omar, he also targeted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — and told them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”
While speaking about Omar, who was born in Somalia but is a naturalized U.S. citizen, at Wednesday’s rally, the president was suddenly interrupted by the raucous crowd, who began chanting, “Send her back!”
In response to their chant, Omar, 37, made it clear that she was not intimidated by their hurtful words in a message on Twitter.
“I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!” the Minnesota politician stated on Wednesday evening, alongside a photo of herself wearing a hijab as she sits on the House floor.
In a separate tweet, Omar shared a tweet from Barack Obama‘s former Director of Speechwriting, Jon Favreau, calling the Trump rally chants “one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.”
Showing her resilience, yet again, Omar quoted Maya Angelou and wrote, “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.”
Her strength in the face of the racist attacks also caught the attention of rapper Cardi B, who showed her support for the House rep on Instagram.
Sharing a photo of Omar beaming with her colorful hijab on, Cardi wrote alongside the image, “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation 💁🏽♀️” — quoting a lyric from Beyoncé’s 2016 song “Formation”.
Cardi is just one of the many stars to defend the women in office in the wake of Trump’s tweet. Since Sunday, a large number of celebrities have spoken out, including Olivia Wilde, Morgan Freeman, Karamo Brown, Chris Evans, and Ana DuVernay.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren also criticized the president for his racist remarks.
The representatives, whose “Squad” moniker traces back to a group photo soon after they were elected last year, gave a joint news conference on Monday responding to Trump.
“This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous, chaotic and corrupt culture of this administration,” Pressley said alongside the others.
Said Ocasio-Cortez: “We don’t leave the things that we love, and when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it.”
Despite the overwhelming backlash, Trump defended his comments on Tuesday, claiming, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body” before continuing to attack the women for their “filthy language, statements and lies” and claiming that they “hate” America.
He also told reporters the backlash “doesn’t concern me, because many people agree with me. All I’m saying is if they want to leave, they can leave now.”
Omar previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she authored or co-authored roughly 266 bills in the 2017-2018 legislative sessions, according to state records.
In her race for the U.S. House, Omar, a North Dakota State University grad who previously worked as a community educator, received the largest vote percentage of any female House candidate in Minnesota’s history.
Omar, the first Somali-American representative and one of the first Muslims elected to Congress, was also the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor after pushing to end the chamber’s ban on head coverings.
She has, however, faced backlash for her rhetoric about Israel and its conservative government, which she has criticized for its treatment of Palestinians. (She has also spoken out about other countries that she says have poor records on human rights.)
Earlier this year, Omar implied in a tweet that support for Israel was based on money — an anti-Semitic trope which she said was unintentionally invoked. Conservatives have called her too dismissive because of a remark she made in a March speech about the 9/11 terror attacks.