The Squad is Three: Why Ilhan Omar Doesn’t Belong
The official ‘squad,’ as they’ve been affectionately and otherwise called, are Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, and Ilhan Omar. But unlike the others, the latter crosses the line between defending one’s rights/equality and frank racism which segues dangerously into genocide denial. Omar has repeatedly illustrated that, though she requests human rights for people who may represent her background in some fashion (Muslim, African), she does not extend the same courtesy to others, inclusive of the Jewish and Armenian communities. By extension, both the Assyrian and Greek Pontic communities are included since their populations were also decimated by the genocidal behaviors of the Turkish government most famously in 1915, but also both before and after and, to some extent, to the present. Though Omar defends her own communities with vigorous pleas for equality, she fails to generalize to the human race. This conclusion marks her as incapable of true leadership in a Democratic country and, in fact, underlines traits she shares with the Trump administration.
Omar makes vigorous pleas to defend Palestinians from human rights abuses, making claims that all humans should be treated with respect. In this regard, she is similar to the other three candidates. Like the other candidates in the ‘squad,’ she has views considered frankly left — as opposed to left-leaning — and often defends less popular views. All of these candidates are advocates of Black Lives Matter, essentially expressing their views that black peoples are oppressed and require advocacy. Most of their views, however unpopular with conservatives or centrists, are attempts to illustrate a lack of equality and attempt to gain it.
Unlike the other candidates, Omar crosses the line between defense of the principles of equality and aggressive statements which essentially exhibit the same behaviors typical of fascism. The two most cogent examples are her readily-documented stereotypy of Jewish peoples and her denial of genocide re: the Armenian (and thus the Assyrian and Greek Pontic) communities. When discussion about Israeli policy was undertaken, rather than elaborate on facts, Omar chose to dismiss the discussion with this statement: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” This statement not only capitalizes on a noxious stereotype about the Jewish people, it does so in a flippant, casual manner as if to shirk any possibility that facts may be involved. When it came to acknowledging the genocidal behaviors of the Turkish government — which has perpetrated continual genocide of not only Armenians, Assyrians, and Greek Pontics but also of a number of other neighboring minorities for centuries — she was one of the only members of Congress who refused to do so and essentially exhibited genocidal-denying behavior typical of any fascist, or by extension, any fascist government.
Keep in mind that, not only have millions been murdered, but that in the cases of these minorities, approximately 75% of the populations were eliminated, thus almost completely decimating these entire populations. These long-standing facts are ones which Omar denies. The fact that she vigorously supports others who she perceives as oppressed but is so ready to deny oppression which others face — never mind murder of almost entire populations — illustrates the high degree of hypocrisy she is willing to exhibit. The fact that she does so with such flippant and arrogant disregard only solidifies the fact that she is not a leader; that is, willing to approach all humans, regardless of her own background, with the same basic human respect.
In order to clarify her opinions and behaviors, it may be helpful to examine the process by which genocide happens and then, through denial such as that Omar is so vigorously defending, is primed to happen again. For example, see Genocide Watch’s website
(https://www.genocidewatch.com/ten-stages-of-genocide ) which lists ten stages of genocide. Omar’s statement implying that the Jewish people focus primarily on money can be placed in stages one and two — classification and symbolization — through her ready use of this stereotype. The fact that this stereotype has been used to dangerous effect in the past should be emphasized, especially given the casual way she drops the statement into her Twitter feed and follows it with an arrogant wave to the media. As if this isn’t enough, Omar establishes the fact that she believes victims of genocide — this is millions of human beings and a majority of the population’s percentages — -were never victimized. This behavior is number ten out of ten — that is, 10/10 — on the list of genocidal behaviors: denial is the last stage of genocide. Clearly, forgetting — especially when it is the sort of active forgetting undertaken by the Turkish government and Omar — can only mean that the behavior will happen again. In fact, this behavior is continuous on the part of the Turkish government. Omar illustrates through her words and actions that she is all too ready and eager to participate in the exact behaviors enacted by fascist governments.
Omar claims that the word ‘genocide’ is used as a political tool, yet she used political maneuvering and basic Macchiavellian deception in her promise to Erdogan, illustrating once again her willingness to act in ways she readily criticizes others for exhibiting. The fact that Israel and Armenia (and a potential Assyria) are non-Muslim cultures should not provoke domineering and exclusionary behaviors from Omar if she is truly interested in democracy; democracies protect their minorities. In the Middle East, Israel and Armenia are minority nations, and Assyrians don’t even have a homeland. Why, if Omar is truly interested in democracy, is she speaking AND behaving in ways more consistent with fascism?
Omar does not belong in the ‘Squad;’ her attitudes and opinions are toxic, and her arrogance nearly intolerable. She defends human beings she designates ‘human’ and participates in language and behavior indicative of a noxious underlying fascism to others who, she implies, are dispensable AND forgettable bodies. She embarrasses the other three and, perhaps more importantly, opens them to criticisms which only she deserves. Her hypocrisy is on routine display. Omar has more in common with the Trump administration than she is willing to admit, and certainly more than the other three women indiscriminately classified with her.
In the interest of basic morality, Omar should be removed as a Congresswoman. Fascist attitudes shouldn’t be present in the White House regardless of whose minds and mouths produce them.