The first part of Sen. Kamala Harris’s statement as summarized in the headline (we shouldn’t focus on Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism) is outrageous, while the second part (it puts her at risk) is a truism. Obviously any public figure who is conspicuously biased against any group is in danger of retaliation from members or supporters of that group. We saw this most recently in the death threats against Covington Catholic school student Nick Sandmann, who the Left mistakenly believed had mocked the chanting on an American Indian activist.
But Harris’s statement, which follows, is flawed for a host of other reasons.
— Ryan Brooks (@ByRyanBrooks) March 6, 2019
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First is the opening declaration that we as Americans have a responsibility to speak out against all forms of hatred and bigotry. Again, there is no doubt this is true, but it also dilutes the original reason for the now-tabled House resolution against Anti-Semitism — to wit, Omar’s most recent expression of that particular brand of bigotry. Any time a public incidence of bigotry occurs, the bigot is expected to make an equally public apology to the target of his insensitivity and other members of that group. It is not customary to widen the focus of the apology to victims of “all forms of hatred and bigotry,” as Harris is now recommending.
Omar is a progressive and a Muslim and a woman of color, and so in any controversy in which she’s involved she enjoys victim status irrespective of the facts. Harris is just following the rules of the Woke Olympics here.
The best way for the Democrats to diffuse this situation, short of urging Omar to resign, is to insist that she apologize for the ugly remarks she has made — and mean it this time — and promise not to do it again. Not that any reasonable person would expect the congresswoman to accede to either demand.