The Republican Party is outraged, outraged—I say—that Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a thoughtful albeit controversial statement. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” said Omar, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity” she concluded. I am generally opposed to the strategic application of the what about-ism that derails thoughtful discussions about oppression or morality but sometimes it is warranted. First of all, the perspective from a member of congress who comes from a middle eastern country should be welcomed by all who have failed to tackle a problem that has been ongoing for decades before and after the six-day war, that immeasurably raised middle eastern tensions, while doubling the landmass of Israel.
Rehashing the atrocities of the United States is an exercise in futility for most Americans, particularly the right-wing. Apparently it is much easier to ignore the past and take the chance of repeating one’s mistakes. Rep. Omar is under fire for telling an uncomfortable truth, or have we forgotten, genocide, the internment of the Japanese, and most recently the horrific caging and separation of children—in some cases permanently—from their parents at the southern border. Of course, it is hard to read, even in a peripheral way, comparisons to the beheadings, and gassing of children we have witnessed on tv but again that is how the insidiousness of what about-ism corrupts one’s values.
Have we reached such a sense of tribal outrage that it is only the truth as she or he sees it?
Do Republican Senators Josh Hawley and Ron Johnson get to ignore or blame others for the actions of their tribe? Republican Congressperson Andrew Clyde was so brazen he said there was no insurrection, just a ‘normal tourist visit’ all while barricading his door with a sofa. Rep. Ilhan Omar used a historically accurate perspective to talk about the world’s crimes. Meanwhile, Georgia Rep. Marjory Taylor Greene’s comparative lack of knowledge was on display when she compared the wearing of masks—for health reasons—to the [Jewish] yellow star or badges, which she described as a gold star, during Hitler’s murderous regime; “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” Greene said. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.” Of course, the backdrop of relative silence by the GOP was contrasted with the thunderous objection to her statement by Jewish groups. The Republican Party is calling for the political death of Rep. Omar which has prompted their crowd of tribal sycophants to call for her literal death, and this is not the first time.
For some, the United States has always stood as a beacon of truth, lighting the way to freedom, progress, and hope. Unfortunately for others, the story is much more complicated. Instead of publicly recognizing progressive pride based on truth, many are choosing the cowardice of silent regret and denial.
Continue to Vote for Change.