Ayanna Pressley, Angela Davis Among Scores Of 'Black Women In Defense Of Ilhan Omar' During Washington, D.C. Rally
“We are reclaiming our rightful place," said Pressley.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has faced strong opposition for being forthright about her socio-political views, but there's at least one group of Black women who have her back.
Activist Angela Davis, University of Illinois professor Barbara Ransby and Rep. Ayanna Pressley led the Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar rally in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to show solidarity toward Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Omar has been a target of vitriol since she questioned the United States’ relationship with Israel. The backlash worsened after Donald Trump tweeted a misleading video of Omar talking about the 9/11 attacks. The 37-year-old, who is one of the first Muslim members of Congress alongside Rep. Rashida Tlaib, said death threats against her have increased since Trump tweeted the video.
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Black women rallied for Rep. Ilhan Omar today in DC. A powerful event w too many people to list but @IlhanMN ‘s integrity and fearlessness are humbling. When they attack her, they attack us all...but after today so clear to see why they target her. Thx to @BarbaraRansby & orgs! pic.twitter.com/d2y32GhaP3— Keeanga-Yamahtta T. (@KeeangaYamahtta) April 30, 2019
Ahead of the rally, Davis emphasized the importance of supporting Omar and blamed bigotry for the attacks.
“She is targeted because she is an immigrant, because she is Muslim, because she is a courageous, bold Black woman who speaks out in defense of Palestinians,” Davis told Democracy Now. “She is not afraid to criticize Israel. And, of course, the current president has made her the target of many of his attacks. We say that we stand with her, we support her, and we will not give up.”
During the rally, Pressley affirmed her mission to support Black women who speak out despite hostility, reports The Hill.
“From R. Kelly to Donald Trump, what we can no longer accept is the silencing of Black women!”-@RepPressley just showed up to speak truth, with @RashidaTlaib and @Ilhan right behind her ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾#InDefenseofIlhan pic.twitter.com/0KjOpvUpVi— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) April 30, 2019
“I am changing the things I can no longer accept, and from R. Kelly to Donald Trump, what we can no longer accept is the silencing of Black women,” Pressley said. “We are reclaiming our rightful place.”
Omar attended the event and openly criticized Trump and his minions, according to CNN.
Rep. Ilhan Omar bought 4 bracelets with messages on them for her sisters in Congress:@RepPressley - “Unstoppable”@RashidaTlaib - “Mama Bear”@AOC - “Boss Babe”@Ilhan - “Badass”#InDefenseofIlhan pic.twitter.com/GHC5NxV7t0— ColorOfChange.org (@ColorOfChange) April 30, 2019'
"We are collectively saying your vile attacks, your demented views are not welcome here," she said. "This is not going to be the country of the xenophobics. This is not going to be the country of the white people. This is not going to be the country of the few. This is going to be the country of the many."
The Minnesota congresswoman believes Trump’s aggression toward her is the continuation of a history of bigotry.
"When this occupant of the White House chooses to attack me, we know -- we know -- that that attack isn't for Ilhan," Omar continued. "That attack is the continuation of the attacks that he has leveled against women, against people of color, against immigrants, against refugees and certainly against Muslims."
She also addressed the spike in hate crimes since the Trump administration began. Omar expressed a passion for fighting for the rights of all Americans.
"Just this week, when we've had the attack in California on a synagogue, it is the same person who is accused of attempting to bomb a mosque,” she said. “So I can't ever speak of Islamophobia and fight for Muslims if I am not willing to fight against anti-Semitism. We collectively need to make sure that we are dismantling all systems of oppression."
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