The Strange Case of Dr. Omar and Mr. Trump

When someone says being Jewish and supporting Israel means you are not loyal to America, we must call it out. When someone looks at a neo-Nazi rally and sees some ‘very fine people’ among its company, we must call it out.

– Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, AIPAC 2019

It might seem strange at the first sight that the Senate Minority Leader use such a parallelism between a Congresswoman who is skeptical of certain policies implemented by a country and a sitting President who intentionally and frequently targets every sort of minority. However, this lack of vision is showing to be common among a large section of Democrats in Washington.

The debate reaches more heat when the President of the United States posts a video that directly targets Ilhan Omar, the fresh Congresswoman from Minnesota over her remarks around the 9/11, and the entire Muslim community across the nation. His party members deny that a life threat being posed to Ilhan; there is not much to expect here. The President’s popular base does not agree on this either; which is understandable because the President’s dog whistle is not supposed to work on his white supporters. How Donald Trump acts is not even the issue here. The issue is how Democrats fail to grasp the key issue. In front of Donald Trump inciting threats to a sitting Congresswoman, who’s a refugee, a muslim and non-white, few Democrats who reacted named her; few of them deciphered what Trump has been doing. This way of addressing the issue does nothing but to contribute to the notions that are at work here:

  • When wrongdoings are committed by the subalterns, those outside the power discourse, it’s the entire community to blame. The word minority is intentionally avoided here, because it is obvious that White Supremacists are also minority members but they are the ones who are inside the power discourse; moreover not all those who are outside the power discourse are minorities.
  • The power discourse seeks to corner the subalterns and alienate them. This is furthermore strengthened by laying the blame of the failures that the power has been experiencing on the subalterns.So Muslims are labelled as those responsible for the terrorism, Jews are blamed for economic failures, homosexuals are called out for ruining families, immigrants are those who cause unemployment.
  • Power uses the subalterns as proofs of its advocacy of diversity. While gay prides are hold across the globe to show how tolerant the governments have become, family advocates are welcomed into the governments; obviously for a typical heterosexual citizen, a government official advocating families is nothing much whereas for a transexual, it is a dog whistle. While Ilhan Omar is used as a proof of Democrats’ diversity, their reaction at an attack against her is definitely less intense than the moment when Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chief of Intelligence Committee, is targeted.
  • The sections of power who use statements such as “There are a lot of transexuals in the army” or “Our Muslim neighbors are fine people” contribute to these dichotomy of “good and bad.” We need to internalize that we have good and bad Muslims just as we have good and bad Christians, and we have good and bad homosexuals just as we have good and bad heterosexuals. NB: people are basically bad!

The Democratic party has been failing some important tests over the past few days. Siding with Trump over Assange’s indictment and making tepid statements over Ilhan’s case makes them more delusional than they actually look like; specifically when almost two dozens of them are running for the office.

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