Good Morning Everybody! I have a few important stories to share with you this today so I’ll just jump right in.
First and foremost, I need to talk about Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the outrageous and dangerous attacks she is experiencing from Donald Trump. As you may know, Congresswoman Omar has literally only been in Congress for 4 months and conservatives have clearly decided to make her their #1 enemy – for most of the past week – until late last night – Trump pinned a horrible video making it out like she was responsible for 9/11 to the top of his Twitter page.
And conservatives are focused on her for one reason – Donald Trump is clearly transitioning to full campaign mode. He is going back to 2015 Trump. And here’s the thing – more than anything else campaign mode Trump needs a monster, a madman, a raving lunatic that wants to kill your family – campaign mode Trump needs a scary Mexican or a Muslim to run against.
And that’s what makes Ilhan Omar so easy to attack for Trump’s base.
She lives at the intersection of at least 4 different worlds that they despise.
She is a Muslim.
She is Black.
She is an immigrant.
And she is a woman.
In fact, she is the only person in all of Congress who checks all four of those boxes at once. When you and I see her, we see something and someone altogether different. I see a bold, brave, beautiful Black woman. I see a mother and a wife. I see a survivor. I see someone who endured unthinkable obstacles to get where she is today. I see a spokesperson for hope and change. I see someone completely unafraid to speak truth to power.
But if you and your base are rooted in white supremacy – as Trump and his base are – they don’t see what we see. And by targeting and harassing her on Twitter, Congresswoman Omar announced on social media yesterday that the death threats against her have surged – with many of them literally quoting Trump’s own attacks against her. Nevermind that it is a federal crime to threaten the life of a Congressperson – Trump’s audience doesn’t care.
That’s why one of his supporters was literally arrested just last week for plotting to kill her.
Now Trump is solely responsible for his own words, but I have to say that I also hold Twitter responsible for how they’ve allowed Donald Trump to repeatedly violate their terms of service against targeted harassment. In essence, they are saying that simply because he’s the President of the United States, the rules do not apply to him. When in fact, the exact opposite should be true. The rules should apply to him above everybody else. He has endangered the life of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and done so openly on Twitter, but it appears they love the traffic he generates more than they value her safety.
I only have a few minutes left, but I wanna make quick mention of two final stories for us.
As you may have seen, the United States, for the first time in the entire history of this country, was just put on the list of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. I’ve said this on the show many times, but it’s hard to understand a moment in history when you are in it – but we are now living in the time and place in this country’s history where it is, for the first time ever, one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists. And it’s simple math – it’s about the number of our journalists who’ve been murdered, targeted, and more – and we are now in the Top 5 most dangerous countries in the world for journalists – right up there with war zones. In great part because of the harassment and ridicule of Donald Trump. It’s despicable.
Last, and I’ll close with this – I want to continue to shout out and salute not just the Bloods and Crips – who have come together in the recent weeks in the wake of the murder of Nipsey Hussle, but I have now seen stories all over the country of rival gangs and groups coming together with power truces and agreements to squash beef and stop the violence. It’s a beautiful thing and these stories simply aren’t being told enough by the mainstream media.
I’ve seen men and women who normally refuse to even be on the same block with one another come together in powerful ways all over the country – including at a powerful march in the Bronx this weekend led by the rapper and leader Mysonne.
I’m encouraged, and I know Nipsey Hussle would be proud, to know that his life has inspired so many people to change. I’ve gotta run.
Take care everybody.