Despite a volley of attacks from the White House, death threats and a rally of supporters of US President Donald Trump chanting that she return to Somalia, Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar has remained persistent in her fight against continuous racist attacks.
On Thursday, she invoked the famous words of American poet Maya Angelou "Still I Rise" on Twitter to respond to racist chants at a Wednesday night presidential rally.
Chants of "Send her back!" broke out at Trump's "Make America Great Again" rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday night when he attacked Ms Omar and three other ethnic minority Democratic congresswomen -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley -- known as the "Squad."
All four of the Democratic lawmakers are US citizens. Three were born in the United States; Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and became a US citizen as a teenager.
President Trump distanced himself from the chants and claimed to reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday that there was "great energy" at his earlier rally but he was not pleased by the taunts.
After Jon Favreau, the host of "Pod Save America," called it "one of the most chilling and horrifying things I've ever seen in politics," Ms Omar wrote on Twitter: "You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise."
You may shoot me with your words,— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 18, 2019
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
-Maya Angelou https://t.co/46jcXSXF0B
In remarks later to reporters, Ms Omar slammed the president, saying "he's spewing his fascist ideology on stage, telling US citizens to go back because they don't agree with his detrimental policies for our country."
"We have said this president is racist, we have condemned his racist remarks," said Ms Omar, one of two Muslim women in Congress. "I believe he is fascist."
In a rare move, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday rebuked President Trump for "racist comments" after he said on July 15 that the four should "go back" to their countries of origin if they are not happy in the United States.
Some Republicans have also urged Trump to tone down the rhetoric.
However, at the rally, Trump had intensified his vilification of the four congresswomen and underscored that such attacks will be a key part of his strategy for winning re-election in 2020.
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