CPDA Responds to Attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar

“Ilhan Omar's fight is our fight,” says national community organizing network

03.06.2019

WASHINGTON, DC – In response to the scheduled House vote on an anti-Semitism resolution, the Center for Popular Democracy Action released the following statement from Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director:

“Fighting for a better world means taking on the unequal power structures that dominate our society. It means challenging the systems and political culture that have kept white, wealthy men at the top and have denied the same access to women, immigrants and people of color. Representative Ilhan Omar is courageous for pursuing this path to justice. And yet the racism, misogyny and Islamophobia that she has faced in this pursuit underscore just how far we have to go.

“All forms of oppression and discrimination cause profound pain to groups of people and must be dismantled. They all stem from the same ideological tenet that is central to the White Nationalist program: the belief that the lives of people of color, Jews, women, LGBTQ people and immigrants, are fundamentally less valuable than the rest. In the U.S. and across the world, there is a growing right-wing nationalist movement that deploys accusations of anti-Semitism to tear down leaders and break up progressive alliances. These forces are determined to keep the voices of immigrants, people of color, and others who have experienced oppression, from having air in our democracy.

“Our political leaders, and especially Democrats in Congress, cannot allow exclusionary and reactionary forces to tear us apart. Though the resolution does not directly target Representative Omar, the timing is no coincidence. It follows the wave of attacks on the freshman representative for alleged anti-Semitism. We know that anti-Semitic threats are real and alive. Yet the merciless attacks she has received are in no way commensurate with what she said. Representative Omar has modeled humility and willingness to learn and reflect on her actions, and a commitment to engage in the necessary work to repair the pain her words have caused.

“We hope all members of Congress act with the same level of introspection, and will commit to leading with humility and moral clarity in difficult moments. We also hope that instead of condemning anti-Semitism in isolation, Congress will condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and all forms of bias and discrimination at once. Silence on one of those fronts only serves to deepen the breach between communities and enable the forces of hate to win the day.

“We need bold leadership to address the hurt and the hatred in our society, to heal, and to build a better future together.

“Ilhan Omar's fight is our fight."      

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Media Contact: Lia Weintraub, lweintraub@populardemocracy.org