On April 12, 2019, Courtney Hagle, @CourtneyHagle on Twitter, shared a post highlighting the Fox News “obsessive coverage” of congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While watching Fox News for six weeks, 42 days, she was able to pick out at least 3,181 times AOC was mentioned. From February 25th to April 7th, by her account, there wasn’t a single day where congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez was not mentioned. In her blogpost for Media Matters for America, Hagle broke down each week and how Fox News used Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s name even if the topic had nothing to do with her. In my opinion it’s quite plainly a smear campaign against the congresswoman. You may not agree with her politics or ideals but the constant attacking and misrepresentation of this powerful woman of color is ridiculous. @TheDevilWearsGoodwill has provided ShoutOut JMU with an amazing appreciation post of the congresswoman and that’s just a glimpse of her impact as the youngest woman to ever be elected to the United States Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is unapologetically fighting for equality, justice, and a better tomorrow. Fox News may be loud but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will continue to be louder.
This brings us to the abhorrent, irresponsible treatment of another women of color elected into Congress, congresswoman Ilhan Omar of the 5th congressional district of Minnesota. As a Black, Somali-American Muslim, congresswoman Ilhan Omar has hit the ground running speaking against the injustice of policies such as the Muslim Ban, bringing light to the economical inequalities of this country, and boldly and proudly defending marginalized groups. She’s been a advocate for women and the transgender community speaking against the Trump administration’s transgender military ban amongst many other social justice movements. Since her election in 2018, she has faced many obstacles, one of which being death threats. From questioning her patriotism and to disregarding her as an American altogether, the media has put Ilhan Omar and her family in danger by inciting such dangerous views against her. Like AOC, she’s been harshly criticized and judged by the Right. Recently, she gave a speech in which she was discussing Muslims’ civil liberties following the 9/11 attacks and during her speech she said “because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” while speaking about the founding of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Using her phrase “some people did something”, some members of the Republican party and the media have distorted her words and the message she was trying to convey during her speech. In their reckless attempt to discredit and attack the congresswoman over a few words which held no malice, they’ve further put Ilhan Omar and her family in more danger. They’ve done this knowing that because of her religion and her identity the rhetoric they are creating will not afford her a chance to simply be a politician speaking on 9/11. Even if there’s clear evidence of her supporting those who were affected by 9/11, the climate in which the country is in won’t lean in the congresswoman’s favor unless we show her support.
Despite our feelings about her politics, the recklessness of it all is extremely troubling. Even after the disturbing video Trump posted, Ilhan Omar has continued to fight for what she believes in. She has not relented and she won’t be silenced.
I will not allow an administration, a group of radicals, and a president who refused to condemn white supremacists, to further incite danger upon a strong woman of color who fights for equality in this country and in the world.