I Stand With Ilhan

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Criticizing an oppressive nation-state does not fit the definition of racism. If one is to however direct hatred towards a particular “nation” or “group” of people, such as the Jewish People, The Muslim People, African, LGBT, etc, this is classified is racism/prejudice.

We cannot afford to be selective and play favorites with the definition of racism. Racism is racism. The State of Israel is exclusionary, discriminates against Arabs, Armenians, Muslims, Christians, oppresses & polices Palestinians, and has for half a century stolen soil.

Ilhan Omar is being publicly crucified for standing up for an oppressed people. Many Jewish people sympathize with her sentiments regarding the Palestinians as well as Israel. Thus this is a clear agenda to limit responsible freedom of speech by conflating it with anti-semitism.

This insults all those who died & suffered as a result of real anti-semitism.

I don’t see any Republicans or Democrats convening to backlash against Trump’s use of anti-semitic iconography against Hillary Clinton – nor do I see a majority of both parties forcing the resignation of Steve King for his outright support of white nationalism.

Privilege enables double standards. And privilege is just a nice word for racism.

I say this as an Armenian descendant of the Genocide, yet to be recognized by either America, UK, or – ironically – Israel. The Armenian Genocide is the first Holocaust of the 20th century. Yet Israel, born right after the Holocaust that claimed the lives of 6 million Jewish people, refutes the claim as though it were echoing Nazi or Fascist Turkish historical revisionism. Quite a travesty. I say this also as a grandson of my Palestinian-Armenian grandmother, who was forced from her home in Haifa to Damascus, Syria as a result of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. This is not just something I read about. It is something I was born with.

And yet, there is little mention of the Islamophobia, racism and stereotypes being used to harass Ilhan Omar herself. She has received death threats, been called pejorative statements like “terrorist”, etc. The double standard is not absurd, it is tactical. And that, my friends, is scary.

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