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Rep. Omar’s critics denounce racist ‘Send Her Back’ chants at rally

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President Donald Trump’s supporters at a campaign rally on Wednesday chanted “ send her back,” in an apparent reference to Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s birthplace of Somalia and her opposition to Trump’s political agenda.

The nativist chant happened in Greenville, North Carolina, after Trump remarked against Omar and “the squad” — a group of four progressive freshman lawmakers who have called out Trump’s recent rhetoric and described it as racist statements.

“She looks down with contempt on the hardworking Americans saying that ignorance is pervasive in many parts of this country,” Trump said, referring to Omar. “And obviously, and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.”

Immediately following his statement, a crowd at the rally erupted in a chant: “Send her back!”

Trump stopped his speech and observed the crowd before continuing: “So that’s Omar. That’s Omar.”

Read more: Trump says he’s lost all his friends because they have ‘respect for the office of the presidency’

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, North Carolina, July 17, 2019.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Following the chant, Republican personalities widely condemned the sentiment and called out the chant.

“Vile,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said in a tweet. “Omar is awful. She is a radical anti-Semite with terrible views. She is also an American citizen and chanting for her deportation based on her exercise of the First Amendment is disgusting.”

“‘Send her back’ is an appalling chant,” Fox News contributor Guy Benson tweeted.

“I’m very tough on Omar [because] she deserves it, on the merits,” Fox News commentator Guy Benson tweeted. “I am sickened by the hate-laced ‘send her back’ chants. Shame on every person who participated. [Trump] has a responsibility to put an end to it. He alone has the ability to do so.”

Conservative radio host and former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois described the chant as “ugly” and “un-American.”

“It saddens me beyond belief that the standard-bearer for the Republican Party, my Party, is making ‘Send her back’ [Trump’s] re-election rallying cry,” Walsh tweeted. “It just saddens me beyond belief.”

“It’s ignorant. It’s dangerous. And it’s un-American. It’s flat out bigotry,” he added. “And every Republican should condemn this bigotry immediately. Stop this now.”

The chant comes days after Trump issued tweets that were widely condemned by lawmakers from both parties. On Sunday, Trump referred to Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and suggested on Twitter that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

The House passed a resolution condemning Trump’s tweets as ‘racist comments’ in a 240-187 vote on Tuesday evening.

Omar is the only one of the four congresswomen who was born outside the US. She is originally from Somalia and fled the civil war to seek asylum in the US in 1995 when she was 10 years old. Omar became a naturalized citizen at age 17 and was eventually elected to represent Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in 2019.

“I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal,” Omar tweeted after Trump’s rally.

At least one prominent conservative media personality detracted with her colleagues, and instead, decried the media’s “ Pavlovian” coverage of the incident. Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham defended Trump’s remarks and described the news coverage of the chant as “conjured up outrage.”

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