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Ocasio-Cortez takes GOP Leader to the woodshed after Ilhan Omar receives death threat voicemail

Ocasio-Cortez takes GOP Leader to the woodshed after Ilhan Omar receives death threat voicemail

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The Republican Party in its current state is a political project fundamentally defined by its cowardice. Thanks to Donald Trump, the GOP has grown poisoned by conspiracy theories — most notably the utterly fallacious claim that the 2020 election was rigged  — and embraced the most overt forms of racism imaginable.

As this moral purification accelerates, Republican politicians are afraid to speak out for fear of angering Trump and his frothing base. Those who do, like Rep. Liz Cheney, end up ostracized from the party. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are fixated solely on accruing power and campaign donations and have zero interest in getting the fringe elements of the GOP in line.

In a perfect illustration of this problem, the recent news cycle has been dominated by the bigoted war being waged by Republican representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene against Rep. Ilhan Omar over her Islamic faith. The two far-right congresswomen refer to her as part of the “Jihad Squad” and Boebert has repeatedly implied that Omar is a terrorist and a would-be suicide bomber.

Such aggressively racist rhetoric has real-world consequences. Yesterday, Omar played a death threat voicemail she received from a virulently racist man who was almost certainly spurred on by Boebert’s and Greene’s attacks. In it, the man promises her that she will die soon and hurls slurs at her.

“You will not live much longer,” the man says on the message. “We see you Muslim sand n****r b*tch, we know what you’re up to. You’re all about taking over our country. Don’t worry, there’s plenty that will love the opportunity to take you off the face of this f*cking earth. Come get it. But you f*cking Muslim piece of shit. You jihadist. We know what you are. You’re a f*cking traitor.”

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Today, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez leveled blame for the voicemail squarely at Kevin McCarthy. She tweeted that people “truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats” that Ilhan Omar receives.

The reason that Omar is inundated by such hatred is obvious: Republican politicians and conservative news outlets like Fox have convinced people that her being a Muslim automatically means she hates America and wants to destroy it. Their racism is matched only by their stupidity. Omar is one of the best representatives this country has to offer and works tirelessly to improve the lives of her constituents — unlike the vast majority of Republican politicians who work solely to enrich the super-rich, corporations, and themselves.

“Kevin McCarthy is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of woc members of Congress,” wrote AOC. “This cannot be ignored.”

She went on to point out that people often bandy about the cliche that they “condemn all forms of racism & bigotry” but the reality is that Islamophobia is “far too often tolerated and ignored. “Bigotry is not made unacceptable by what one says about it, it’s made acceptable based on whether there are consequences for it or not,” she added.

AOC said it doesn’t just come down to “nasty phone calls and e-mails” and that the real problem is that the Republican Party has discovered they can “incite without consequence.” Conservative politicians don’t have to hire security to protect their lives the way Democrats, particularly women of color,” have been forced to in recent years.

Ocasio-Cortez is absolutely right and unfortunately, this state of affairs is likely to change. McCarthy will never grow a spine and Republicans will continue to act in a racist, violence-fetishizing fashion. Our only real recourse is to do everything we can to keep these people out of power.

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