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Is the Hatred for Ilhan Omar Really a Race Thing?

Yes, of course racism still exists.  Yes, some of those racists consider themselves Republicans.  Yes, some of those racists support Donald Trump.  But some of those racists consider themselves Democrats and they hate President Trump.  Racism is not the sole purview of any one party or politician’s cult.

All that said, I guess I’d like to press pause on the collective freak-out over the recent “Send Her Back” chants at a Trump rally just long enough to get some clarity from rational people.  Because when I try to think though this situation rather than feel my way through it, I don’t come away with the impression that the hatred that was expressed at Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar was because of her race.  I get the impression that it was because of her flagrantly anti-American rhetoric.

To be clear, the fact that Omar’s politics are terrible, the fact that she herself is a virulent racist against Jews, the fact that she loathes the very institutions she profits from immensely does not justify hatred towards her.  Jesus died for Ilhan Omar as much as He died for me; she’s just as valuable to God as I am; she’s a being that bears the image of the Creator and therefore worthy of my respect. 

I condemn hatred against Omar, just as I condemn hatred against Trump, just as I condemn hatred against any person.  But I also want to be responsible enough to not lose my mind over all this and pretend it’s something that it’s not.  Demagoguery seems to be the political class’s spiritual gift, so they can have at it.  Me?  I guess I think we’ll get further with the truth than intentionally inflammatory misrepresentations meant to accomplish nothing more than demonizing people who think differently for our own political gain.

Appearing on Fox and Friends last week, the big voice on the right, Rush Limbaugh explained his take on “the chant” this way:

[P]eople are fed up, I think, hearing how rotten their country is. And they’re fed up hearing the media give those people an additional platform to broadcast their hate and their disgust with the country. 

I guess I tend to thing that is what has always motivated the support for Trump, and that’s what motivates the anger and hatred at people like Omar.  Trump supporters see Omar as having an aggressive antipathy towards the United States, its history and its allies.  So they react by saying, “You don’t like this country so much, why don’t you leave?” 

Is it a sophisticated argument?  Of course not.  But I don’t think it’s very sophisticated to pretend the reason those Trumpists were chanting to “send her back” was related to her skin color either.

Do they want to get rid of her because she’s brown?  Or do they want to get rid of her because she’s a far-left Democrat who is being given a large platform from which to run down values these people cherish?

I mean, those same Americans chanting “send her back” aren’t chanting that at “people of color” who they perceive as supportive of this country, its institutions, and its opportunities.  There are a lot of people who “look like Ilhan Omar” that those same chanting Americans embrace.  They just so happen to be the ones that express similar political views. 

These chanters don’t want to “send all brown-skinned people back to where they came from,” because that would mean sending back a lot of good Republicans.  So, what’s their motivation?  Politics.  Not race, politics. 

And along those lines, what motivates liberal politicians and their media allies to use this incident to hatefully brand all Trump supporters racists?  Politics. 

None of this is okay, of course.  None of it is healthy.  None of it is godly.  None of it helps our country.  But the only way it gets better is if those of us who want it to get better stop playing the game.  As in, we stop letting our political desires cloud the lens through which we see our fellow man…left or right.


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