There’s been pushback against left-wing anti-semitism in Congress recently, with even many Democrats condemning comments by outspoken congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Not everyone on the Left is taking the moral high ground though — and one of the worst offenders is Congressman James Clyburn of North Carolina. Clyburn, who like Omar is new to Congress this year and on the far left of the Democratic Party, seems to have decided that he didn’t just have to defend his colleague’s racist remarks; he had to do it in the most offensive way possible.
Rep. Omar’s comments recently about the so-called “dual loyalty” she says politicians are supposed to feel towards Israel caused outrage, and were widely condemned. James Clyburn was among the few who rallied to her side.
- While leading Democrats — including Speaker Nancy Pelosi — condemned Omar’s statements, Clyburn rushed to defend her. He complained that media reporting on the scandal hadn’t mentioned that Omar came to the US as a refugee after her family fled the violence in her native Somalia.
- What really caused outrage was when Clyburn went on to compare the experiences of Omar’s family with the children of Holocaust survivors. According to him, Omar’s experiences are much more personal than those of someone whose parents were in Auschwitz.
- Of course, Clyburn is ignoring the fact that the children of Holocaust survivors are, themselves, targets of anti-semites like the ones who put their parents in a camp to begin with. The memory of the Holocaust isn’t just a bad memory; it’s one of the vilest symbols of an ideology in human history — one that’s persecuted Jews for thousands of years and continues to do so now — with Ilhan Omar now among its perpetrators.
- In contrast, Omar’s family wasn’t targeted for genocide. They just left Somalia because they didn’t want to live in a violent, impoverished country anymore. Obviously, it would have been a traumatic experience for Omar, who was a child when her family left Mogadishu, but nobody was actually trying to wipe them all out. Even if anyone had been, she’s a US citizen now and safely living in a free democracy. Somalia’s violence is just a distant memory for her, but Jews still face the prejudice that led to the Nazi death camps.
- Clyburn is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan and his controversial “Nation of Islam” group, which mainstream Muslims see as heretical. Omar is a mainstream Sunni Muslim, but Farrakhan has publicly supported her offensive comments about Jews and Israel.
- It’s possible that Clyburn is backing Omar because of the Farrakhan connection — or maybe he just shares her prejudices and lacks common sense.