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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/1/19

Back to Jim Crow under Trump: "Lynch her" is Republicans' Big Idea to Deal with Rep. Ilhan Omar

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Message Juan Cole
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From Informed Comment

Rep. Ilhan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar
(Image by YouTube, Channel: CGTN America)
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Liz Sawyer at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twitter account of Danielle Stella, the Republican challenger to Ilhan Omar has been shut down after she called for her opponent to be lynched.

Stella managed to combine the worst excesses of Jim Crow punitive policies toward the African-American congresswoman with the most egregious Islamophobic lies. She alleged, with no evidence, that Omar had passed sensitive US government information to Iran, and that if so she should be hanged as a traitor.

Stella responded to the ban by accusing Twitter of being a supporter of terrorism and pedophilia.

Her case shows how problematic is the decision of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to allow political campaigns to lie at will in their paid advertising on that platform. Presumably Stella could still put her putrid and entirely false allegations into a Facebook ad with no repercussions.

Stella seems to have a morally corrupt soul and so I'm not sure it will do any good, but maybe we could begin by explaining that Somalis are Sunni Muslims have have no affinity for the Shiite government of Iran. Most Somalis are moderate Sufi Muslims, and while I don't know for sure, that is likely Omar's own background. Iran persecutes Sufis and discriminates against Sunnis. The fundamentalist extremists in Somalia, the al-Shabaab, are linked to Saudi Arabia, a major foe of Iran. Omar's family fled the instability created by groups like al-Shabaab, and she is perhaps the only refugee presently sitting in Congress (Marco Rubio lied about having that status).

The insane conspiracy theory into which Stella bought was spread by the so-called Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

Whereas Omar has been unjustly condemned as an "anti-Semite" merely for bringing up the effectiveness of the Israel lobbies' spending on shaping US government policy (an effectiveness that AIPAC boasts about), editorial boards and congressional caucuses somehow haven't attacked Stella for her Islamophobia.

The allegation Stella made is profoundly bigoted, since it just sweeps all Muslims up into an undifferentiated mass and tries to tag them with Iran, one of the few Muslim states with which the US has bad relations, as Omar herself implied in her rebuttal:

As for hanging Omar, Stella put her foot in some very unpleasant excrement by talking in those terms. In the era of Jim Crow to which the Roberts Court seems to want us to return, African-Americans like Omar were denied access to public schools and other facilities and were often de facto denied the right to vote. In that era 1882-1968, 3,446 African-Americans were strung up and lynched. Often their crime was not to shuffle and put their heads down in front of the caste of dominant whites, the same charge leveled against the uppity Omar. Some white people were also lynched, often for standing up for African-Americans.

Bonus Video:

Newsy: "Danielle Stella banned from Twitter"

 

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)
 

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