Trump’s Tweet Incites Violence against Ilhan Omar


Maia Berthier

Ilhan Omar’s words about 9/11 sparked many arguments throughout the nation.

Maia Berthier, Staff Writer

On Mar. 23, Ilhan Omar gave a speech to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) discouraging Islamophobia. Within this speech, she referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as an event where “some people” (a small part of the Muslim faith) “did something” (this terrorist attack). However, her word choice put her under fire because it seemed like she intended to minimize 9/11 when really, she just wanted to prove that Muslims as a whole should not be stereotyped as terrorists because of this occurrence. In response to her speech, President Donald Trump posted an edited video of her speech that juxtaposed film from 9/11 with her saying “some people did something.” This took her words completely out of context and since many people who saw this tweet did not look elsewhere, they immediately assumed that she was casually referring to 9/11 as “something.” As a result of this clip, Ilhan Omar has received dozens of death threats, and Nancy Pelosi spoke with the Sergeant-at-Arms to make sure the Capitol Police conduct a security assessment. Although her word choice is not perfect, her words being used to incite violence against her is wrong, and people should not jump to a conclusion about her after seeing one video, especially because her original intent was not to insult or minimize 9/11.

If you take “some people did something” out of context and hear that it is referring to 9/11, you can see how this might seem offensive. This is the tweet that the president posted on Apr. 12:

The full speech uses the phrase but makes it clear that this was not used to make it seem like the terrorist attack was just an everyday occurrence. She says, “far too long, we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” Even though the word choice might not be great, it is incorrect to assume that she was explicitly trying to diminish the significance of 9/11. This controversy further shows us that it is important to see multiple sides of a story, instead of simply making a harsh judgement after seeing one source.

“I think that President Trump is abusing his power and influence through social media drastically, and as he is reaching a large audience it is shocking to think that he would be posting even more misinformation and attacks, “ freshman Rachel Dopico said. 

It may be human nature to jump to conclusions as soon as one sees something alarming, but this must be avoided because it can have drastic consequences. This case is a perfect example- one video is posted, putting Ilhan Omar in a bad light, and she receives an influx of death threats and hate online. This has been occurring more and more during this era of “fake news” because people are not aware of the manipulation tactics that can be implemented and used against them to support a specific agenda. Just by watching the video that Trump posted, it is understandable why she could be under fire. However, before posting a hate comment or developing any concrete opinion, it is essential to look elsewhere and confirm that what you are seeing has not been manipulated.

“‘Some people did something’ was not a very sensitive way to describe a terrorist attack; however, Trump took her quote out of context and made it seem far worse than what she meant to say. She only meant to suggest that what some Muslims did threatened the civil liberties of Muslim Americans,” sophomore Samantha Gazda said.

Many people might argue that this video itself did not start any violence against her. However, Trump’s post reached a completely different demographic than those who watch her speeches and by seeing the edited video that Trump tweeted only, they misinterpreted what she was trying to say and in turn sent hate and violence her way. This post not only started the fire of argument for some people, but also added a lot of fuel for people to take action against her. Since the posting of the tweet, she has received more death threats and hate than ever before. She may not be the only politician getting death threats, but that does not mean that they are not serious accusations and she should just deal with them.

It is easy to believe everything you hear and to judge a book by its cover, but as humans, it is necessary that we do research before coming to a conclusion. In politics, there is always an ongoing effort to manipulate the ideas and viewpoints of the general public, but we cannot let this happen anymore. Ilhan Omar’s words were flipped and cut to start violence and controversy against her, but it is still in the hands of all those who viewed the video to look beyond what is being put in front of them and create an opinion of their own. This should be used to teach a valuable lesson to the general population that is on social media about being mindful of bias and persuasion tactics that may not be very noticeable.