August 6, 2020

I have to say that I am getting a little tired of the critiques of Ilhan Omar here in Minnesota’s fifth district that focus on her “celebrity” as a bad thing that should be held against her.

I disagree with Omar on many things. And I agree that she has made some mistakes that she needs to learn from. She needs to improve at her job, as most of us do.

But let’s be clear on one thing: She is a celebrity for one and only reason. Donald Trump chose to make her a celebrity by singling her out with his blatant racism and his anti-Muslim bigotry. Were it not for Trump, Omar would still be one of the most liberal members of Congress, but she would not be a celebrity.

To my friends who are supporting Antone in the primary: I hear what you are saying, and I sympathize with the ideals of a more pragmatic representative who is less likely to make news on a regular basis. If you truly believe Antone will do a better job than Omar has done, then I completely respect your decision.

But please, please, please - STOP using Omar’s position as one of Trump’s most well-known punching bags as an excuse to go a different direction. Her celebrity status will end when we have a less bigoted president.

Omar can be fairly criticized for many things, but her celebrity status should not be one of them.