It has nothing to do with how much money a person has, nor does it relate to a person’s position in society. You cannot purchase it … you either have it, or you don’t. Barack and Michelle Obama both have it in spades. Donald and Melania Trump do not. What is it, you ask? It is a thing called ‘class’.
U.S. House Representative Ilhan Omar has this thing called class. Ms. Omar has been the target of some of the most vicious racist and Islamophobic threats and verbal attacks imaginable. Why? Because she is a Muslim, because the ‘man’ who is masquerading as president of this nation has instilled a fear of ‘other’ into some 40% of our population and has, in fact, launched a personal attack against Ms. Ilhan.
And yet through it all, she has retained her grace and dignity.
Back in March, Patrick W. Carlineo Jr. of Addison, New York, called Ms. Ilhan’s D.C. office and spoke to a staff member …
“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull.”
On Monday, November 18th, Mr. Carlineo pleaded guilty to threatening to assault and murder the freshman congresswoman and for being a felon in possession of firearms. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Carlineo hates Muslims and even went so far as to tell the FBI when they began their investigation into him, “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head”.
Ms. Ilhan, whose life he threatened, however asks for compassion for the man …
“We must apply a system of compassion to criminal justice. Who are we as a nation if we respond to threats of political retribution with retribution ourselves?”
This, folks, is class. It is compassion. It is human decency.
Although she had just turned 19 when, on 11 September 2001, 19 Middle-Eastern terrorists flew planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, some have sought to place the blame, by extension, on her shoulders. Trump himself re-tweeted an obnoxious tweet several months ago that falsely claimed she was seen partying in the aftermath of 9/11. And, in the West Virginia State Capitol, a poster was at a table in the Capitol’s rotunda …The poster led to a brawl outside the House of Delegates that eventually spilled into the chamber, where at least one person was injured. The body’s sergeant at arms submitted a letter of resignation at the end of the day after being accused of a making an anti-Muslim slur during the dispute.
And then in August, Ms. Omar received an anonymous death threat …This was shortly after Trump said that Ms. Omar and three other Congresswomen of colour should “go back to the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, and then-Senate candidate from Alabama, Roy Moore, echoed Trump, saying “… Trump was right, she should go back to Somalia from whence she came”. When such ugly talk comes from our politicians, especially the faux president, is it really any wonder she receives death threats?
And that brings us to this week, when her republican challenger in next year’s election, Daniella Stella, got herself and her campaign banned from Twitter for her hateful tweets. On Tuesday, she posted …
“If it is proven @IlhanMN passed sensitive info to Iran, she should be tried for #treason and hanged.”
And she followed up with an image of a stick-figure being hanged. Her reference to Ms. Omar passing “sensitive info to Iran” stems from a conspiracy theory started by Canadian businessman Alan Bender who has links to the Saudi government, and he implicates everyone from Jared Kushner to Ty Cobb to Ms. Omar. The story has been proven false, yet apparently Ms. Stella failed to get that memo.
This is not the first time that Daniella Stella has come onto my radar. Back in July, I wrote a snippet about her having been arrested twice for shoplifting, and once for trying to outrun the police when they stopped her for driving drunk! She is also a supporter of the conspiracy group QAnon, if that tells you anything. I don’t think Ilhan Omar needs to worry overly much about keeping her seat next year, if Ms. Stella is the best the Republican Party of Minnesota has to offer!
I began this post talking about class. What is class, exactly? It can be a lot of things – being kind and compassionate, being calm in the face of adversity, walking away from a fight. Class is one of those things that … you know it when you see it. Class is definitely not defined by racism or any other form of bigotry. It is not defined by cruelty. Those who would attack Ms. Ilhan Omar simply because of her ethnicity, her religion, or the fact that she is a woman, are the ones who have no class. Ms. Ilhan Omar has more of it in her little finger than Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Daniella Stella, and Patrick Carlineo combined.
Note to readers: Saturday Surprise will return next week … probably.