If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, apparently it’s not a duck. In fact, we’re all a bunch of racists for even suggesting it might be. That’s the kind of insane mental gymnastics in which Ilhan Omar, Tamika Mallory, and Linda Sarsour would like us all to engage.
In the wake of yet another anti-Semitic tweet from Omar —this time she alleged that political support for Israel was entirely bought and paid for by Jews — politicians and everyday citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, found common ground in rebuking the congresswoman. It’s not exactly good look for a sitting politician to spread harmful anti-Semitic stereotypes about big bad Jews and their big bad money. Most people who are not David Duke seem to understand this.
Most people, but not everyone apparently. As the brouhaha was unfolding, Sarsour posted to Facebook that she is “triggered by the constant defensive posture women of color leaders find themselves in.” The problem, in other words, was not Omar’s tweet, but rather how the rest of us have responded to it.
This fits in with the far-left’s general thesis of intersectionality and identity politics: non-white people are always oppressed, and oppressed people are never the villains, only the victims. Sarsour went on: “We are put to higher standards than everyone else.” Fact check: false. What Omar said was troubling. It wasn’t troubling because her skin isn’t white.
Sarsour continued, saying that people “want to destroy us and liberals always play into it… liberals talk about smashing the patriarchy and standing with people of color and often times are the first people to throw women of color leaders under the bus to show how self righteous they are and to appease angry white men…this is upholding white supremacy.”
Again, here is a clear suggestion that non-Caucasian people never do anything blameworthy. If they are in fact criticized, it can’t be because they’ve ever done something wrong, but because white supremacists are racists. This is absurd.
Mallory took a page out of Sarsour’s book, and took to Twitter to argue that “women of color are held to unreachable standards and scrutinized in a way no one else is.” Again: did neither of these women watch how the world — and countless Republicans — reacted to Steve King? Not being an anti-Semite or a racist should not be an “unreachable” standard.
Mallory went on to say that “we are also not given benefit of the doubt. Just based on who we are, people assume ill will. This is NOT okay. There’s racism at play.” The gaps in her logic are astounding. This is Omar’s second anti-Semitism-related apology this month. There’s no reason to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Mallory and Sarsour both root the public criticism of Omar in the fact that she is non-Caucasian. Given their identity-obsessed worldview, in which what you look like and where you come from are supreme over all other things, it makes sense that they may even really believe this. But for the rest of the world, in which what you say and what you do matters more than where you come from, the problem with Omar is not that she isn’t white: the problem with Omar is that she keeps repeating anti-Semitic tropes.
But anti-Semite or not, she’s outsmarted us all. Once again, the Twittersphere, and even me, right now, in writing this article, have played right into Omar’s hands. We’re done talking about her anti-Semitism. Now, we’re on the defensive, required to prove that we’re not the bigots.
Maybe we’ll learn our lesson next time. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, don’t call it a duck—unless you feel like facing your own charges of bigotry.