President Trump has been no stranger to social media leading up to and during his presidency.
He often makes opinionated and controversial posts to Twitter about everything from policy to pop culture, and following one of his most recent posts, he is once again being called out for going too far.
On Friday, Trump tweeted a video of congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim, giving a speech in which she refers to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as something that “some people did.”
President Trump cherry picked this line from her speech and intercut that footage with footage of the planes crashing in the actual 9/11 attack and captioned it “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
The rhetoric Trump is using is harmful and racist, and many of Omar’s fellow Democrats were quick to call it out as such. Omar was quick to defend herself as well, rightfully quoting former President George W. Bush himself as saying, “The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” and asked if Bush was downplaying the terrorist attacks, and if he would be held to the same criticisms she was if he was a Muslim as well.
What President Trump is insinuating in his tweet is unfortunately something that people of different religious or ethnic backgrounds have to face all too frequently in America in the aftermath of terrorist attacks when they just so happen to look like the person or people who committed them.
The public at large often holds them accountable for the actions of a few corrupted individuals and expects them to condemn them personally, but when white people commit acts of terror or violence, other white people are not expected to answer for their actions.
“Members of Congress have a duty to respond to the President’s explicit attack today,” representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said as a caption for a tweeted picture of Pastor Martin Miemöller’s anti-Nazi poem titled, “First They Came.”
With Omar pointing out that a former President used similar rhetoric and was not criticized to the extent that she was, it does seem like it has more to do with her religion than anything else.
Regardless of religion, Omar is a member of Congress and has just as much of a right to speak on American tragedies as anyone else.
Trump’s attack was not subtle in the lines it was making, and the connections he was encouraging his followers to make as a result.
While cherry picking certain words or phrases to prove the opposite point of what your political opponent is trying to make is never a valiant thing to do, insinuating these things based on Omar’s religion as well feels especially harmful to her and all Muslim-Americans as a whole.