In a racist tweet Monday that was promptly ratioed into the shame museum, the Arlington County Republican Committee in Virginia suggested that two Democratic congresswomen of color should retire and go work as lobbyists for the Taliban.
The remark, directed at Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), came in response to a BBC report on the Taliban’s dire financial situation ― resulting in an apparent desire to hire a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
The tweet drew immediate criticism, prompting the Arlington GOP to defend itself by pointing to an opinion piece in The Washington Post about Omar not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. That article was written by Marc Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
“This tweet isn’t about race ― it’s about the Squad’s constant support for anti-American sentiment abroad,” the Arlington GOP tweeted, using the nickname for the group of House Democrats that also includes Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (Mo.).
Tempting as it may be to pass the tweet off as a terrible joke ― a line Republicans employed unconvincingly and often during Donald Trump’s term in the White House ― stoking this kind of hate has very real consequences.
Ocasio-Cortez told Vanity Fair last summer she receives all manner of threats, often seeing a swell after far-right lies and attacks are amplified by conservative media.
“I used to wake up in the morning and literally get a stack of pictures that were forwarded by Capitol police or FBI,” she told the magazine. “Like, ‘These are the people who want to kill you today.’ ”