Ilhan Omar responds to "send her back" chants from Trump rally with Maya Angelou poem

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

Crowd chants "send her back" during Trump rally

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar responded to chants that erupted during a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina Wednesday night. After President Trump called out the Democrat from Minnesota, the crowd began to yell "send her back!" as the president ramped up attacks against her and three other progressive women of color this week.

Omar, who is an American citizen that was born in Somalia, took to Twitter to address the chants with Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise" poem. "You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise," she tweeted.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019

She later posted a picture of herself standing in front of the House Chamber with the caption: "I am where I belong, at the people's house and you're just gonna have to deal!"

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Her tweets came after Mr. Trump singled her out at his rally in Greenville. He accused Omar of having a "history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds," denigrating the military and minimizing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Earlier in the day, he also repeated a claim that Omar married her brother.

👋🏽 I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal! pic.twitter.com/W0OvDXGxQX

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019

Elected officials and other public figures came out in support of Omar, filling Twitter with encouraging messages and #IStandwithIlhan hashtags on Twitter. Some 2020 hopefuls also defended Omar.

"Trump is stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society," Bernie Sanders said. "And that very hatred and racism fuels him."

Trump knows that when we stand together and fight for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, we have the power to defeat him.

So the demagogue is doing what he knows best: Divide and conquer through hate.

His attacks only make us stronger. #IStandWithIlhan

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) July 18, 2019

"It's time to get Trump out of office and unite the country," Kamala Harris wrote.

It’s vile.
It’s cowardly.
It’s xenophobic.
It’s racist.
It defiles the office of the President.
And I won't share it here.

It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) July 18, 2019

Omar is part of the self-described "Squad" of four freshmen Democrats that includes Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley. Mr. Trump kept up his attacks on all four of them Wednesday.

"Cortez, somebody said that's not her name … I don't have time to go with three different names, we'll call her Cortez," he said. "These congresswomen, their comments, are helping fuel the rise of a dangerous militant hard left."

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Mr. Trump's remarks as well: "To all those scared for our future: we can get through this better than we started. We have the power to triumph over hatred, division, and bigotry."

Earlier in the week, the president tweeted that the women should "go back" where the came from, despite all of them being born in the U.S. except for Omar. In an interview with "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King, the progressive lawmakers called his racist tweets an intentional "distraction."

House lawmakers approved a resolution to formally denounce Mr. Trump's recent tirade Tuesday, with four Republicans joining Democrats to rebuke the president.

First published on July 18, 2019 / 10:18 AM

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