Encouraged by the U.S. President, his supporters chanted “Send her back” referring to Ilhan Omar giving rise to social media campaign #IStandWithIlhan.
Politicians, activists worldwide rallied behind Ilhan Omar as the U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his vilification of her and three other progressive lawmakers as "un-American" at a raucous rally Wednesday.
Despite being criticized that his comments about the four minority congresswomen known as “the squad”, are racist, Trump went on an extended tirade about the lawmakers but especially focusing on Ilhan Omar the Somalian-American lawmaker.
Encouraged by Trump, the crowd chanted “Send her back” giving rise to viral social media campaign #IStandWithIlhan where politicians and activists came together in solidarity with Ilhan Omar.
At the rally in Greenville, North Carolina Trump also attacked the other three of the squad-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib asking them to leave the country if they did not like his policies on issues such as immigration and defending Israel.
"So these Congresswomen, their comments are helping to fuel the rise of a dangerous, militant hard left," the Republican president said.
"Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down. They never have anything good to say. That's why I say: 'Hey if they don't like it, let them leave. Let them leave,'" Trump said.
Trump spent about a fifth of his freewheeling 90-minute-long speech criticizing the four lawmakers, to enthusiastic crowd response.
The rally brought forth a flood of support for Omar from various sections of her party and even public figures. Omar herself quoted a poem by the late civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Senator Kamala Harris and 2020 presidential hopeful wrote, “It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won't share it here. It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country.”
Senator Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential hopeful showed his support to Ilhan Omar by writing, “Trump is stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society. And that very hatred and racism fuels him. We must fight together to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country."
Trump is stoking the most despicable and disturbing currents in our society. And that very hatred and racism fuels him. We must fight together to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.
Elizabeth Warren, a fellow Democratic senator wrote, “Calling out his racism, xenophobia, and misogyny is imperative. But he's trying to divide us and distract from his own crimes, and from his deeply unpopular agenda of letting the wealthy and well-connected rip off the country."
Public figures like actress Piper Perabo tweeted in support of Omar. She wrote, “#IStandWithIlhan She is a friend. We have talked about Minnesota voters, who she cares about. She cares about students. She supports women. She supports other civically engaged women (that’s how we met!) She is a good mother, citizen, friend and an important member of Congress.”
The famous rapper, singer Cardi B, who supports Sanders’ candidacy, also came out supporting Ilhan Omar. She posted a picture on Instagram writing, “You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation.”
The conflict started over the weekend when Trump said in a tweet that the four first-term minority congresswomen should “go back” to the “the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”
After widespread criticism, he defended his attack on them in an event at White House Monday, saying he was not concerned if people thought his tweets toward them were racist and accused the U.S. lawmakers of hating America.
World leaders like U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and London mayor Sadiq Khan also criticized Trump.
Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter that his part “ stands in solidarity with the four Congresswomen of colour subjected to Donald Trump's racism” asking people to sign a solidarity letter.
Even U.K.’s right-wing politician Boris Johnson, whom Trump favors for the post of the prime minister, came out against him.
"If you're the leader of a great multiracial, multicultural society you simply cannot use that kind of language about sending people back to where they came from," Johnson said of Trump's tweets adding, "I simply can't understand how a leader of that country could come to say it."
Trump drew criticism from other diplomats and even his own party members as well. “‘SEND HER BACK, SEND HER BACK,’ is ugly. It’s ignorant. It’s dangerous,” tweeted Joe Walsh, the conservative radio host and former Republican congressman. “And it’s un-American. It’s flat out bigotry. And every Republican should condemn this bigotry immediately. Stop this now.”
“The bigoted mob chanting ‘send her back’ tonight is significant,” tweeted Walter Shaub, a former director of the U.S. office of government ethics under Barack Obama.