Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has received support from across the world after Donald Trump supporters chanted “send her back” at a rally for the US president.
The chants at a rally in North Carolina came as Mr Trump doubled down on a series of widely criticised tweets in which he said four Democratic congresswomen could “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.
At the rally, he rounded on the four by name, criticising Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ms Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.
When Mr Trump spoke about Ms Omar – who was born in Somalia and moved to the US as a refugee when she was a child – the crowd responded with chants of “send her back”.
She responded by quoting Maya Angelou poem Still I Rise, and later tweeting: “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!”
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
👋🏽 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
Among the many Democrats stating their support for Ms Omar were a number of contenders for the presidency.
Kamala Harris said the spectacle “defiles the office of the President”, while Elizabeth Warren said that “calling out his racism, xenophobia, and misogyny is imperative”.
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
We must call out those who remain silent. We must initiate impeachment proceedings to hold him accountable. And we must build an unstoppable grassroots movement that resoundingly defeats not just Trump, but complicit Republicans everywhere.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 18, 2019
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
A tweet. Then a chant. And it won’t stop there.
Trump is fueling and feeding off hate. Racism and Islamophobia are stains on humanity and on our country.
We stand with @IlhanMN.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 18, 2019
These chants don’t happen by accident. They are the product of a president who sees our diversity not as a strength, but as a weakness. I believe in our country. And I believe, together, not allowing our differences to divide us, we will defeat him and everything he stands for. https://t.co/RKZ6PTQM4g— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) July 18, 2019
Jon Favreau, a former member of Barack Obama’s staff, described the spectacle as “one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics”.
The crowd at Trump’s rally chanting “send her back” after the President viciously and dishonestly attacked Ilhan Omar is one of the most chilling and horrifying things I’ve ever seen in politics.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) July 17, 2019
In the UK, London mayor Sadiq Khan – himself a frequent target for Mr Trump’s invective – said the four congresswomen targeted by Mr Trump “represent hope for the future”.
Love and solidarity will always trump hate. These progressive congresswomen @RashidaTlaib @IlhanMN @AyannaPressley @AOC represent hope for the future - their home is America, but their message crosses borders.https://t.co/PLMwOK0frL— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) July 18, 2019
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said the “racist rally sends shivers down my spine”, and her party colleague Jess Phillips said: “This is what fascism looks like. We must fight it at home and abroad.”
I am a second generation immigrant. I am the daughter of an asylum seeker. This racist rally sends shivers down my spine. Those who are shocked by this have not been listening. https://t.co/McjuC2N6e0— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) July 18, 2019
This is what fascism looks like. We must fight it at home and abroad. https://t.co/3Pnx7rKOuh— Jess Phillips Esq., M.P. (@jessphillips) July 18, 2019
To think our great country rolled out the red carpet to this man. Truly one of Theresa May’s worst judgements. https://t.co/vksAdcfd57— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) July 18, 2019
Ed Davey, a contender in the Liberal Democrat leadership contest, wrote: “This is heartbreaking and terrifying. If we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
“All of us who stand for liberal values, and for decency, must stand up to Trump’s disgusting racism and the hate he sows.”
This is heartbreaking and terrifying. If we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
All of us who stand for liberal values, and for decency, must stand up to Trump’s disgusting racism and the hate he sows https://t.co/3kuwp7aVZ9— Ed Davey MP 🔶 (@EdwardJDavey) July 18, 2019
Mr Trump has repeatedly defended his comments about the congresswomen, tweeting recently: “I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”
However, the Democratic-led US House of Representatives disagreed, voting earlier this week to brand the words as “racist comments”.
- Press Association