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Ilhan Omar Calls Out AIPAC to Mixed Criticism

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Representatives who were silent as Charlottesville Nazi’s were called “fine people” are having no difficulty raising their voices to condemn Ilhan Omar as an anti-Semite. I wonder why.

Speaking out about the influence of money from Israel on congressional support, Minnesota’s Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar criticized human rights violations toward Palestinians. She has been a vocal opponent of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, territories which were originally allotted to the Arab state in 1947. However, comments made at a bookstore are what sparked the current wave of outrage that conservative pundits are using to push Islamophobia under the guise of defending Israeli-American relations.

Dangerous Ideologies

February 27th, Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” This drew comparisons to an anti-Semitic trope that implies that Jewish citizens of any country will forever be more loyal to Israel than where they reside. These recent remarks, conservatives and centrist democrats have resorted to taking her tweets, which point out the problematic role of lobbyists, out of context to present a narrative that Ilhan is an anti-Semite. While Ilhan Omar has acknowledged that her language was offensive to some, she affirms that “whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil fuel industry,” her views regarding their controversial contributions remain unchanged.

Those who openly refused to take on the President for his problematic language have jumped at the opportunity to condemn Ilhan Omar for her comments. However, they weren’t all on the same page when it came to a resolution that would effect their speech as well. Thursday, the House passed a resolution condemning both anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination, but 23 Republicans voted against the change.

Progress

Democrats and Independents voted in favor of condemning anti-Muslim bigotry for the first time in our nation’s history. While many were reluctant to defend the young Representative, four Presidential hopefuls stood by Omar amid the harsh criticism for her opinions on the Israeli government. Senator Bernie Sanders stated that backlash from Omar’s comments were “aimed at stopping a discussion about American’s foreign policy toward Israel.” He added that what he feared was happening was “an effort to target Congresswoman Omar as a way of stifling that debate.” Senator Kamala Harris chimed in with her own concerns and shared a brief statement:

We all have a responsibility to speak out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, and all forms of hatred and bigotry, especially as we see a spike in hate crimes in America.”

Blood on the House Floor

As one of the first Muslims elected to Congress, she has been marked as a target by conservatives looking to eject her from politics altogether. One racist act, of particular note, resulted in a resignation and left one person injured.

In West Virginia, a physical fight broke out within Charleston’s Capitol building that spilled into the chamber of the House of Delegates. The fight began with an image connecting Ilhan to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Speaking out to condemn the poster, Mike Pushkin, who is Jewish, commented that “In 1933 in Berlin, they might have had a similar poster about somebody like me.” Asking Republican Congressmen to stand with him in condemnation, Pushkin told the Washington Post “not a single Republican elected official in this building could join me in saying it’s wrong.” Pushkin said he was met with Republicans who spoke about the First Amendment instead.

Despite the criticism that Omar is facing, little has been said directly to Republicans who are abusing this controversy as an opportunity to air their prejudices. The division in our current government has made it apparent that there is immeasurable room for growth when it comes to addressing the right-wing administration of Netanyahu, liberty for Palestinians, and denouncing hate speech across Semitic and Islamic lines. As the first term of Trump’s administration comes to a close and with Congressional elections approaching, we must continue to work toward a future that sets us on a path of progression.

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Keisha Lance Bottoms Lectures Black People Again; Contracts COVID-19

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It’s a lot, chile. But we’re here to walk you through it. After a morning of social media backlash regarding her comments on the tragic shooting of an 8-year old girl, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that she has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Mayor Lance began the day with a lecture. “These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,” she rattled, “these are members of the community shooting each other.”

Black Twitter was unimpressed. They quickly pointed out that this sounded like the White supremacist rhetoric that has long been lobbed against civil rights activists and Black people who are concerned with their well-being as it relates to police violence.

Some even brought up the fact that communal establishments in Atlanta have been reopened, which has resulted in a transmission spike in her city, and will inevitably cause harm and death to more Black and Brown people. Her response to that matter? Another scolding:

Now, we here at KingOfReads.com aren’t pandemic experts, but we can only assume that one of two things is true, given that Miss Keisha now has the virus, herself. Either she isn’t following her own orders or this virus, much like violence perpetrated against Black people by Black people, is much more complex than she is willing to admit.

Coincidentally, (or not) Governor Kemp (R) has suddenly declared a State of Emergency in Georgia and called in the National Guard. According to NPR, he had this to say:

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda,” Kemp said. “Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead… Enough with the tough talk, we must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Quote Taken From NPR

Just after this announcement, came Keisha Lance Bottoms’ big COVID-19 reveal, which seems to have shifted the narrative away from the morning’s seminars and the fact that the state of Georgia is now becoming even more militarized. We’ll keep you updated as the situation evolves.

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LGBTQ

Trump Administration Cuts Protections for Transgender Americans

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On Friday, the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back an Obama-era rule protecting transgender Americans from discrimination in health care. 

Under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on one’s gender identity. Under a revised version of the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce Section 1557 “by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology” beginning in mid-August. In other words, doctors and insurance companies receiving funding from the Fed can legally refuse any patient needing transition-related medical care.

Of course, as quickly as the rule was finalized, many LGBTQ+ organizations including the ACLU,announced intentions to sue the Trump administration over this new language. “The Trump admin has issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.. All while a global pandemic is occurring.” said the ACLU in a tweet. 

Forget a global pandemic, ACLU. Friday’s announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, a mass shooting at a popular Florida gay nightclub that left 49 people and the shooter dead.

President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the nearly 1.4 million transgender people in this country, his fellow Americans – he doesn’t feel anything.

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Donald Trump to Host Rally in Tulsa,OK on Junteenth

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Yes, you read that right. Donald Trump is returning to the 2020 campaign trail with a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19th. It’s hard to say that this is just a coincidence when both the day and location mark significant times in Black history.

Tulsa, Oklahoma was the home of the Black Wall Street Massacre in 1921 where a white mob looted and burned businesses. According to Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, it’s believed that as many as 300 people died from that travesty.

June 19th (Juneteenth) is also an important day in Black history because it celebrates the official end of slavery in the United States.

We can’t ignore how calculated this is for Trump have his first rally since COVID-19 here. Especially with race being a hot topic in the country as we speak with #BlackLiveMatter at the forefront.

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