Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar said the American economy and political systems need to be “dismantled,” not just the criminal justice system.
“As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality,” she said at a livestreamed event in Minnesota on Tuesday. “We cannot stop at [the] criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar calls for "dismantling" of the U.S. "economy and political systems," which she calls a "system of oppression." pic.twitter.com/AP072GsmzW
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 7, 2020
Omar didn’t specify exactly what “dismantling” our political and economic systems as we know them would look like, but a cursory search of the Oxford dictionary for the definition of “dismantle” defines it as taking something “(a machine or structure) to pieces.”
“The engines were dismantled and the bits piled into a heap,” says the Oxford dictionary as an example of the word’s usage. Applied to the structures of American government, the imagery is unsettling.
It’s also worth noting that Omar has used the same language of “dismantling” to discuss police departments such as the one in Minneapolis, which she advocated for removing entirely. “The current infrastructure that exists as policing in our city should not exist anymore,” she told CNN.
Omar isn’t the sole voice in the Democratic party calling for radical change in ambiguous terms. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tweeted on Sunday that his goal as president would not simply be to “rebuild this nation — we’ll transform it.”
We're going to beat Donald Trump. And when we do, we won't just rebuild this nation — we'll transform it.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 6, 2020
This also isn’t Omar’s first time making extreme statements.
In April 2019, she faced backlash over her characterization of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as “some people did something.”
She has also been criticized for anti-Semitic sentiments, including a tweet in 2012 that said “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” Additionally, Omar has faced criticism for refusing to support a bill condemning the Armenian Genocide.