Commentary: Trump attacks African American women in leadership

Ilham Omar, then a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, speaks at a Hillary for Minnesota event at the University of Minnesota in October 2016

Commentary: Trump attacks African American women in leadership
October 07
11:58 2020

By Lauren Victoria Burke

As the 2020 campaign for the White House enters the final stretch, President Donald Trump is looking and sounding increasingly desperate.

After a debate performance featuring a call to supporters to go to the polls and observe, followed by a backlash for not denouncing white supremacy, Trump’s Republican supporters in the halls of Congress are increasingly concerned his presence at the top of the GOP ticket will impact the party down ballot.

The day after a debate he was roundly criticized for, Trump went to an old standby: Attacking African American women in positions of leadership.

During a rally in Minnesota on Sept. 30, Trump said, “What is going on with Omar? I’ve been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt and crooked she is. Let’s get with it. Let’s get with it.”

Trump was referring to unverified claims linking the Congresswoman to a “ballot harvesting” scheme. A conservative website that traffics in conspiracies attempted to make the unverified information go viral on Sept. 28.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said on Oct. 1 that she was not surprised by President Trump’s attacks.

“This man is a white supremacist. It’s no surprise that he has ideas of feeling that Somalis are worthless …

We are very clear that in Minnesota, we are greater than hate. That is why he didn’t win Minnesota in 2016,“ Rep. Omar said during an interview on MSNBC. “Not only are Minnesotans welcoming of refugees, they have sent one to Washington to represent them.”

Trump has attacked Omar before, along with Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).

Polling in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Arizona shows that Trump is trailing Vice President Joe Biden. States such as Georgia and South Carolina, usually reliable for Republican victory, are in play with either Biden tied with Trump or only one or two points behind.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at and on twitter at @LVBurke.

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