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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/13/21

Lauren Boebert is the Symptom, Not the Disease

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"We see you Muslim, sand nigger bitch. We know what you're up to. You're all about taking over our country. Don't worry, there's plenty who would love the opportunity to take you off the face of this fucking earth. You fucking Muslim piece of shit, you jihadist, we know what you are. You are a fucking traitor. You will not live much longer, bitch, I can almost guarantee you that."
"-- Threat made to Ilhan Omar

There are now two videos available of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) telling a made-up story of encountering Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in a Capitol Hill elevator. Who knows how many times she has told the same tale and not been recorded.

In both narratives, Boebert refers to her co-worker and fellow human as a member of the "Jihad Squad," a bigoted reference to the fact that Omar is a Muslim who wears a hijab. She then expands upon an "all Muslims are terrorists" theme by stating that she only felt safe in that elevator because the Representative from Minnesota was not wearing a backpack.

In response to Boebert's comments, Omar has stated that the Colorado Congresswoman is "unhinged." This assessment could not be further off base; Boebert knows exactly what she is doing. The party of Lincoln has devolved into the party of fear-mongering and bigotry and Boebert is mining the base for fame and economic gain.

All one has to do is watch the videos and focus not on Boebert but on the crowd of Republicans she is addressing. There is no gasp at the blatant racism and Islamophobia. No one is seen walking out of the room in protest. There is only applause and words of agreement. Hate has a home in the mainstream Republican party.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
(Image by U.S. Government)
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In a clear case of projection, Boebert says in the video from September that Omar and another Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, are "black-hearted, evil women." To Boebert and her base, these representatives are not fellow Americans but people "who want to destroy our country." No one in the audience displays the courage of John McCain to interrupt Boebert to tell her that you can have vastly different policy ideas and still love the same country. McCain's Republican party is as dead as Lincoln and has been replaced by Trump's army of cult members who have confused patriotism with idol worship.

When Marjorie Taylor Greene engaged in anti-Semitic tinged conspiracy theories, the Democrats along with 11 Republicans voted to remove her from her committee assignments. The pushback from the base protected Paul Gosar after he posted a video of his cartoon alter-ego violently killing his co-worker, AOC. His censure and loss of committee assignments were only approved by two fellow Republicans.

There are calls to dole out the same punishment to Boebert, but what good will this do? Unless she is censured on a bipartisan basis, she will become another martyr for the Republicans. This will only give her more power within the base of bigots that is feeding this hatred.

Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy knows that he cannot remain in power and fight back against this hatred and bigotry. He, therefore, plays to the base of the party and promises that, if he becomes Speaker of the House, Greene and Gosar will be reinstated to their committee assignments. In fact, he teases that they may get better positions. This alone should motivate anyone who opposes bigotry to work for depriving McCarthy of the chance to become Speaker by defeating Republicans in next year's midterm elections.

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He is an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and serves as the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him "a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles." For links to his blogs, please visit Opinions are his own.

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Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a " (more...)

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