As supporters of President Donald Trump chanted Wednesday to “send” U.S. citizen and congresswoman Ilhan Omar “back” to where she came from, the Democrat from Minnesota affirmed she would “rise” in the face of hate.
In a tweet, Omar quoted a stanza from “Still I Rise,” a poem penned by the late writer and civil rights icon Maya Angelou.
“You may kill me with your hatefulness,” Omar wrote. “But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
The first-term congresswoman was reacting to a tweet by political commentator Jon Favreau, who described the “chilling” scene of Trump supporters chanting “Send her back” at a North Carolina rally following vitriolic comments made in the last few days by the president about Omar.
Omar followed up the Angelou quote with a tweet asserting, “I am where I belong, at the people’s house.”
“You’re just gonna have to deal!” she added.
At the Greenville rally, Trump renewed his attacks on Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color, whom he described as “hate-filled extremists.”
“If they don’t like [America], let them leave,” Trump told the crowd.
The president also accused Omar of “launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds” and of minimizing “the Sept. 11 attacks on our homeland, saying ‘some people did something.’”
Trump drew an official rebuke from House Democrats on Tuesday for his earlier remarks urging Omar, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), to “go back” to their ancestral countries. The House passed a resolution, mostly along party lines, condemning the president’s racist comments.
All four women are U.S. citizens. Omar, who was born in Somalia, moved to the U.S. as a child and became a citizen as a teenager; the other three women were born in the United States.
At a news conference earlier this week, Omar lambasted Trump’s racist attacks and called his words hypocritical.
“When people say, ‘If you say a negative thing about this country, you hate this country,’ to me, it sort of speaks to the hypocrisy,” Omar said. “And so for him to condemn us and to say we are un-American for wanting to work hard to make this country be the country we all deserve to live in, it’s complete hypocrisy.”
This post has been updated to include another of Omar’s tweets.