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Can Rep. Omar quiet the critics, and as she says, cause 'good trouble.'
Under fire again for her remarks, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) appeared on Stephen Colbert’s late-night TV show to explain why she felt she had to rebuff House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who’s suggested freshmen lawmakers need to “go slow.”
Rep. Omar bristled at the advice, telling The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that Pelosi “knows” women don’t make progress by “going slow.”
“Nancy knows this very well,” Omar told Colbert. “Women has been told to go slow and not be seen and not be heard for many years. And she wouldn’t have made it to where she is if he did. And it’s certainly the case for minority women, and the three of us are minorities and people of color. We are not there to be quiet. We are not there to be invisible.”
Omar raised a firestorm of controversy earlier this year because many interpreted comments critical of Israel as anti-Semitic.
Then, just this week, she was under fire again–this time for remarks she made at a fundraiser for a Muslim organization where she described the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, as “something” done by “some people.”
Talking to Colbert, the lawmaker said she’s in Congress to make “trouble.”
“We are there to follow the lead of people like Congressman John Lewis and make good trouble,” she said, referring to Lewis who was a hero of the civil rights movement before joining Congress.
Here’s an excerpt from the exchange:
COLBERT: “She— she said that you should have apologized. She asked you to apologize. She and other members of both the Republican and the Democratic Party have said to new members, you, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a lot of new, outspoken quite noted new members of Congress, to basically slow down, don’t do too much, backbench it, see how everything works, you know, find out where the bathrooms are and, you know, and where the copy machine is before you start making waves. What do you say to those people who say, ‘Go slow’?”
OMAR: “Ah, I think Nancy knows this very well. Women has been told to go slow and not be seen and not be heard for many years. And she wouldn’t have made it to where she is if he did. And it’s certainly the case for minority women, and the three of us are minorities and people of color. We are not there to be quiet. We are not there to be invisible. (Cheering and Applause) We — we are there to follow the lead of people like Congressman John Lewis and make good trouble.”
COLBERT: “Well, thank you for being here.”