Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota did an Al Jazeera interview. In that piece, she claimed Americans should be fearful of white men. The reason to fear white men is they are “causing most of the deaths within this country.” What do you think? Is this racist?
Is it a statement based in her Islamic faith? Where does it come from?
The interviewer asked if Islamophobia might be the result of a reasonable fear. Does it come from concerns people have about Islamic terrorism? The Omar answer came as the racist response. Omar could have responded that we shouldn’t fear anyone based on race, ethnicity, or religion. But she didn’t. Her response could have been judgement of each person should be on the basis of his or her own merits. But she didn’t do that either. Instead, she took the opportunity to fear monger about white men.
The Omar response…
Here’s the Omar quote: “I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country… And so if fear was the, the driving force of policies to keep America safe — Americans safe inside of this country — we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.”
Do you think any white male politician could get away with saying that about black, muslin or Asian women? No, absolutely not. Their political career would be over. For utterance of a phrase like “we should be more fearful of brown women” their reputation would face be destruction. A statement like “we should be fearful of black women” would be career suicide.
But is there a factual basis?
Even if Omar is a race-baiting bigot for advocating fear of an entire race. Statistically, if her claims were correct, a discussion might be in order. At least there might be merit in the statement. However, her claims are not factually accurate. They are not even close to correct. So, not only is she fear-mongering but she is doing so with bad, untrue statistics. That’s called making it up.
Maybe she didn’t intend to be taken literally. But, the leading causes of death in America are things like heart disease, cancer, and accidents. Is she suggesting that these things are engineered and controlled by the evil white man? Let’s hope not.
What if she really meant murder?
Let’s read “causing death” as murder. Is her assertion true in that case? Do white men do most of the murdering in this country? No, not even close. According to the DoJ, white people commit about 45% of the murders in the U.S. That seems high. But consider white people are over 60% of the population.
Whites, therefore, commit about 15% fewer murders than might be expected based on a percent of the population. By comparison, blacks commit a little over 50% of the murders in America. That is despite accounting for about 13% of the total population. That is where the facts fall. Facts cannot be racist. Facts have no agenda.
Lies can be racist. Conclusions can be racist. Representative Omar used a racist lie to draw a racist conclusion. She has used a racism double dip of deception and bigotry. Why is she not being treated like a black David Duke?