Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks Tuesday at the Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy conference in Washington. Omar, a Somali refugee, remarked she could not withstand having her children “exist in the pains” that she has and others like her “in this country.”
“Right now even when we are talking about the president people will say, his remarks are racist and we’ll forget the inherent racism that has always been part of him,” she said.
“He always takes an opportunity to others to vilify them and destroy their existence and ability to access our justice system,” Omar added.
“Racism distracts, racism destroys and racism can kill,” Omar said at the event. “And so we have to also confront that. So often, so many people walk around naive to the idea of how threatening this could be. And we see it creep into so many policies.”
“We forget that this system of oppression that continues to build and continues to ‘other’ so many of us and vilify us in the process to almost eliminate our existence in many aspects of society,” she said. “And so I think at least for me, it’s not that I’m going to allow it to distract me I’m interested in unmasking it and taking it to task because if we don’t fully confront it and push people, we’re going to be stuck here for another generation or two.”
“I don’t think I can withstand allowing my children and their children to exist in the pains that I’ve existed in and many others like me have existed in this country,” Omar added.