The right-wing smear machine revved up again on Thursday, continuing President Donald Trump’s racist attacks on Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar by promoting a heavily edited video they’re spinning as a smoking gun to show that Omar’s the REAL racist.
In a clip shared by the Daily Caller’s Molly Prince, Omar appears to respond to a question about terrorism by saying that “our country should be more fearful of white men,” because “they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country.” The video also makes it seem like she’s advocating that white men be subjected to government surveillance.
The whole thing is bogus. The 40-second clip, taken from a 10-minute-long, February 2018 interview on Al Jazeera with journalist Medhi Hasan, conveniently omits the full context of her comments, which makes clear that she’s responding to questions about Trump’s history of xenophobia, even going out of her way to defend Trump supporters as backing the president out of “economic anxiety” rather than bigotry. The video also omits that Omar is drawing attention to the hypocrisy of conservative lawmakers and pundits who use fear as a weapon to push racist policies.
Here is Omar’s full, unedited response when asked how she would respond to conservatives who point to terrorist attacks committed by Muslims as the source of rising Islamophobia:
Our country should be more fearful of white men across our country, because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country. And so if fear was the driving force of policies to keep America safe—American’s safe inside of this country—we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.
Prince’s video conspicuously does not include Omar’s conditional “if” and instead is edited to make it look like she’s simply demonizing white men for being white men.
So, of course, elected Republicans and conservatives eager to score points against the first Somali-American elected official in the United States immediately began working themselves into a frenzy to condemn her obviously edited remarks.
Here’s just a sample of their disingenuous mouth-frothing:
Just this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified that the majority of domestic terrorism arrests made this past year were related to white supremacists, a trend Omar was clearly drawing on in making her point about conservative hypocrisy.
Oddly enough, I haven’t seen any denizens of the right-wing fever swamp demand Wray apologize for being racist. I wonder why?