The division that political affiliation has caused in our country is devastating. Choosing to support a Republican or Democratic politician is the right of everyone living in the U.S. However, there is a fine line between supporting vs. hurling nonsensical labeling toward politicians with opposing views. Two Democratic politicians that are experiencing the consequences of other people’s dangerous and false labeling is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Yesterday, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez addressed the appalling and false way that a Republican college group labeled her. The Ohio College Republican Federation sent out fundraising emails to their conservative followers and put in the subject line that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is a “domestic terrorists.”
In a fundraising email today, the @OhioCRs describe @AOC as a “domestic terrorist” — a term often reserved for the likes of Timothy McVeigh and people who kill children in their school classrooms pic.twitter.com/fn8n2pmQOm
— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) April 10, 2019
According to politics editor at The Center for Public Integrity, Dave Levinthal, who tweeted a screenshot of the fundraising email, showed the letter saying they needed donations to “‘stop the brainwashing’ that has college students thinking that Ocasio-Cortez is a ‘role model,'” USA Today reports.
“This puts me in danger every time,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Almost every time this uncalled for rhetoric gets blasted by conservative groups, we get a spike in death threats to refer to Capitol Police. Multiple ppl have been arrested trying to harm me, Ilhan, & others. @GOP, what’s it going to take to stop?”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez brings to light the dangerous comments that a Fox News anchor recently said about Rep. Omar. Yesterday, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade spoke about a statement Rep. Ilhan said about 9/11.
Rep. Omar said that “CAIR [Council on American-Islamic Relations] was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Kilmeade didn’t like the way she said “some people did something” and then went off and questioned her loyalty as an American.
“As a Muslim-American, you should be more outraged because they sullied your religion,” Kilmeade said on his show, according to The Daily Beast. “In the name of religion, they killed Americans and still do it on a daily basis.” Then he said, “you have to wonder if she’s American first.”
This is dangerous incitement, given the death threats I face. I hope leaders of both parties will join me in condemning it.
My love and commitment to our country and that of my colleagues should never be in question. We are ALL Americans! pic.twitter.com/foTZMpiZKv
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 10, 2019
While both the college group and Kilmeade have apologized for their dangerous labeling toward these American politicians, the damage is done. Their words that right-wing extremists will take to heart are already out there. That is why these women have received numerous death threats and will continue to do so until they stop their dangerous rhetoric, which could have devastating outcomes.