At a rally in Greenville, NC tonight, President Trump spent minutes attacking freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
“She looks down with contempt on the hard-working Americans [by] saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” Trump said.
“Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds,” he added.
The crowd then broke into a terrifying, full throated chant: “SEND HER BACK!”
The chant was in reference to the now-notorious racist tweets Trump posted last week in which he told Omar and several of her colleagues of color to “go back” to where they came from.
On Twitter, Omar responded to the terrifying video with incredible grace.
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Omar, unlike the other three members of Congress targeted by Trump, is actually an immigrant. She was born in Somalia and spent her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya before migrating to the U.S., where she is a fully naturalized citizen.
It hardly needs to be said how dangerous this incitement by Trump could be. His followers have repeatedly committed acts of violence against marginalized groups and the press. Several have already threatened the lives of the very woman he is attacking. One death threat against Omar earlier this year was so severe that a man was arrested and charged. “I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull,” the man said, according to a U.S. Attorney’s press release.
But Trump doesn’t care. If the last week’s saga has shown anything, it’s that there is no length he’s unwilling to go to in order to rile up his fascist fans. By targeting her publicly, the president is putting Omar in very real danger. But to him, it’s just more positive attention from his supporters.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress have done nothing but give Trump what even they characterize as a “slap on the wrist” for his rhetoric. By the time they figure out how truly serious these threats are, it may be too late.