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Cut the Nonsense: A Response to the Ilhan Omar Controversy


We can all agree that it is important to fight for what you believe in. Campuses are full of clubs and organizations dedicated to different causes. For example, Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society, and She’s The First sponsors education for girls in low-income countries. Representatives and other public officials are voted in to represent ideals and causes pertaining to their constituents, but when does defending your beliefs and causes go too far?

Ilhan Omar certainly called this into question with her tweets back in February, specifically those claiming that any American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins, baby,” a reference to $100 bills, which is also the name of a Puff Daddy rap song.

Her not-so-subtle suggestion that organizations promoting support for Israel were in it for the big bucks was considered an anti-Semitic trope by many of her fellow Jewish congressmen and the public, which sparked bipartisan outrage. As is appropriate, many of her constituents and fellow Congress representatives were quick to run to the media to convey their outrage and disagreement with her comments. Even President Trump told reporters that “she should be ashamed of herself” and further criticized her apology.

A bit of push-back was warranted here–if one’s cause is so worthy, why should another’s be judged for the sake of bettering an argument? Taking out someone else’s supports or causes never makes one look superior; rather, it makes one look worse, sometimes even giving the notion that one is a bigot. While Omar was quick to apologize for her comments, the public was still outraged that she used her platform to attack another religion and culture.

However horrible and insensitive her comments may have been, this gives no one the right to write a threat of assassination on a bathroom stall of her home state of Minnesota. This threat was found at a gas station in Rogers, Minnesota, and is currently being investigated by the FBI.

Yes, Omar’s comments were offensive and do not uphold the values of a congresswoman. Yes, she was insensitive and her tweet is technically a micro-aggression. However, threatening to assassinate someone over a tweet they made is wrong. Threatening to kill anyone is wrong. The whole controversy has become so politically charged that no one is thinking clearly anymore.

This is an example of one of the many problems that come with bipartisan politics–the problem of polarization and unwillingness to understand or even attempt to listen to the other side. Instead, public officials and random passers-by are tweeting micro-aggressions left and right and writing death threats on bathroom stalls.

This is white noise. In reality, Omar’s tweets and the threats distract from the real problems behind what they are responding to. Neither is getting their message across in an effective or productive manner. These actions, like those of so many others that make the front pages of our newspapers, lead the political environment of America in endless circles.

Frankly, America needs to cut the nonsense. These are childish actions, and we can all agree that when talking about changing this country, we all should be acting like adults. Let’s talk about issues with supporting Israel without being derogatory or snarky. Let’s express our disagreement without violence and anger.

We can write arguments and articles clearly and appropriately dictating policy and public opinion. We can partake in marches like the Women’s March and March for Life. We can write to our representatives in the government and participate in local government circuits to bring justice and make changes to the world around us.

America seems to believe that these tropes and threats are a thing of the past, so let’s leave them there. America can change and grow without any of this white noise in the background.

Photo courtesy of The Intercept

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    tomApr 5, 2019 at 6:50 am

    i struggle to find an original thought anywhere in this piece – this is an important story and i would like to see an actual critical analysis instead of just saying hey lets all be nice guys

  • AnonymousMar 31, 2019 at 8:21 pm


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    Tom AlciereMar 31, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Except that her comments were not antisemitic. They were criticizing a political bureaucracy known as State of Israel, not Jewish people. Also your statement references “her fellow Jewish congressmen” and is she is not a Jewish congressman then how can she have fellow Jewish congressmen? They are her Jewish fellow Congressmen, with a capital C.

    Her critics don’t want a serious debate about the US alliance with Israel and US support for Israel, so they label her comments antisemitic. No matter how many times their lie is repeated, it is still a lie. That’s why I built a website linked to this post.

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Cut the Nonsense: A Response to the Ilhan Omar Controversy