Were Ilhan Omar's comments anti-Semitic?


  • Steph Simpson - 5 years ago

    Yoooo....once again a fantastic episode. *clapping emoji* I just was NOT READY!
    To be honest, when the episode started, I was already in the beginnings of one of those work shifts where everything that could go wrong WAS going wrong and I was resolved to just silently stew with just the podcast in my ears while mean-muggin everybody that dared to breathe in my direction--and then we got to Guess The Race.
    Dawg when you read the story about that "afflicted" woman stealing that Rav4, I admit, it had started to make me laugh a little bit, but when you got to that audio clip and I heard her scream "ANY MORE QUESTIONS?!" I. WAS. DONE. I must have rewound that part like 5 times, and it made me fresh fall out laughing every time--that's gotta be a clip for the sound board lol. I couldn't help myself; the rest of the day every time some one would ask me something slick stupid I would just look at them and say "any more questions??" Thanks so much for the episode and y'alls hard work--it really only takes a minute with you guys sometimes to turn my whole day around, and I'm so grateful for that! Sorry for the long comment, Peace :)

  • nahan87 - 5 years ago

    Hey Karen and Rod, I think some of Ilhan’s comments (the Benjamin’s comment, hypnotizing comment) were anti-Semitic and some were not (allegiance to a foreign country and the Israeli government enacting apartheid). Not to imply I understand her upbringing, but if you are unaware that certain phrases/words are historically anti-Semitic but you hear it growing up and it's not explicitly explained to you that people say these things to be anti-Semitic then perhaps you wouldn't know that when saying it you are contributing to a narrative about Jewish people.

    For example, I lived in Indonesia and lived with a family that had dark skin, darker than mine and I'm not light skinned, and my host brother asked if it's okay for him to use the n-word since he is black too? I said no because he's a dark skinned Asian person and he didn't know the history of the word. Sometimes people use phrases/words when they don’t know the history behind them. He thought the n-word was just a cool phrase for black people.

    But I do think intentions matter which is why I appreciate that she apologized about her clearly anti-Semitic comments. I think it’s important for Democrats to be nuanced, since the republicans won’t be, in their response by acknowledging the wrong and highlighting the acceptable ways of disagreeing, which I don’t feel like they are doing a good job of currently.

  • Sean - 5 years ago

    About the comments about "push(ing) for allegiance to a foreign country." This comment is likely related to anti-BDS laws around the country. The BDS movement (Boycott・Divest・Sanction) is a movement designed to organize against illegal settlements and other forms of attack against Palestinians. However, this can lead to the loss of a job as a Texas Speech Pathologist found out ( https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/texas-speech-pathologist-fired-for-refusing-to-pledge-not-to-boycott-israel-1.6750517 ). While this is not in accordance with the first amendment, it is hard to get protection and support in the meantime.

    Furthermore, "all about the Benjamins" is an allusion wrapped around a double entendre (Benjamin is the prime minister of Israel as well as the undo influence of AIPAC in congress -- you may recall the 2015 Netanyahu address to a joint session of congress wherein Republicans broke diplomatic protocols (https://www.vox.com/2015/3/2/8130977/netanyahu-speech-explained ))...

    Basically, Republicans were gonna call her anti-Semitic no matter what she said, but Democrats are going along with it because they don't want to be accused of holding a double-standard while holding a double-standard. Attacking actual corruption and first amendment violations is not racism, it is shedding light on unseemly aspects anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic American politics.

    But I haven't thought too deeply about this, so I'm interested in what y'all think,

  • Akua Brempong-Smith - 5 years ago

    Hi Rod and Karen,

    This is just a quick note to tell you that I've turned my husband, Shane, on to the podcast and he is HOOKED! We listen together and we have really good conversations about the topics that you all discuss. Every so often he will start randomly giggling to himself about something one of you has said. He does have a question though. In the bonus round of Guess the Race, how do you "double the race?" What does it mean? I thought it might be doubling up on the racism, but we figured we'd ask the experts.

    Thanks for producing great content that both of us enjoy,
    Akua (Uh-kwee-uh)

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