Ilhan Omar is a Victim of Her Own Politics
With every new job comes what’s called a ‘honeymoon period’– a finite length of time in which a new hire enjoys a feeling of satisfaction and gladness having escaped that dump of a job they had before this one. The future is a glowing orb and you’re basking in it. While the duration of this period may vary, in general, it must come to an end. For freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), it would seem her shorter-than-average honeymoon period has come to a screeching and abrupt halt.
With a few notable but not altogether unexpected exceptions, neither the national media nor social media have been very kind to Omar in recent weeks. Hounding accusations of antisemitism based on a series of statements and tweets, have plagued the Somali born representative and slowed the momentum built by progressive Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT). What started out as quiet insinuation and question asking grew noisier and noisier with each passing week, the crescendo of which resulted in the passing of an ‘anti-hate’ resolution in the House. The seven-page document which, much to the chagrin of a handful of House Republicans, does not directly or indirectly name congresswoman Omar as catalytic in its genesis, ‘encourages all public officials to confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry…’
This misuse and short-sighted application of oppression narratives have served only to fracture the democratic party and render valueless authentic social grievances.
Accusations of bigotry hurled at Omar, especially from within her own party, speak to a deep irony constructed by the identitarian left; architects of fragile glass houses built with flimsy materials on shaky foundations. Islamophobia, white supremacy, racism, sexism– legitimate forms of bigotry– have been sloppily used as cudgels to silence dissenting opinions and discourse. This misuse and short-sighted application of oppression narratives have served only to fracture the democratic party and render valueless authentic social grievances. Omar has thrown plenty of stones in her fairly short career, widening a profoundly unhealthy division among average Americans.
Is representative Omar an anti-semite? Maybe, maybe not. It’s nearly impossible to adjudicate such things — which is the point. The nastiest indignity you can level upon a person, labeling someone as bigoted or otherwise intolerant, requires the lowest evidentiary standard among those who traffic in identity politics. Omar is experiencing firsthand how deleterious to one’s career this type of allegation can be and the damage produced by weaponized conjecture and ever-lowering standards of information.
She’s since deleted the offensive tweets (a critical step in outrage culture’s version of The Sacrament of Penance), apologized (sorta), and been (ham-handedly) defended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. And of course there’s the aforementioned and bravely endorsed anti-hate resolution. Concern over Omar’s potentially anti-semitic bias seems to be dying down or, at least, it seems to have quietly exited the news cycle. To many, it might look like she got away with one. Concern over her politics should not dissipate so quickly. Ilhan Omar remains a zealotic ideologue who likely, once the dust settles and she’s out of woke timeout, will rejoin the fold and return to promulgating costly ideas both unrealistic and regressive.