Reps. Omar and Schakowsky team up to combat white nationalist terrorists and their GOP enablers

Photo of Reps. Omar and Schakowsky team up to combat white nationalist terrorists and their GOP enablers

Hatreds are all related. The people who spew anti-Semitism are more often than not the same people who spout Islamophobic bigotry, just as the people who hate blacks and Latinos also hate LGBTQ folk. The lines do not always cross, of course, but they inevitably blur in the bizarre universe in which they are united: white nationalism.

Two key Democratic House members, Rep. Omar Ilhan of Minnesota and Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, this week helped make that point crystal clear with a joint op-ed piece on CNN urging Congress to take the threat of white nationalism seriously.

The goal of these terrorists, articulated in attack after attack, is as consistent as it is unhinged: to create a white ethnostate that excludes religious, ethnic, and racial minorities. White supremacists claim Islam is incompatible with Western society and seek to terrorize Muslim communities in order to strike fear in practitioners of the religion. Jews, who for centuries have faced discrimination, dehumanization, scapegoating and even genocide, are once again under threat today.

Addressing this hate should not be a partisan issue in the United States.

Yet thanks to Republicans, Fox News, and Donald Trump, that is precisely what it has become. Rather than confront the rise of white nationalism, conservatives are bending over to attack anyone who works to confront this hate, and they provide comfort and support to a wide range of white nationalist organizers and for their hateful ideas. It’s happening in the media, and it’s happening in Congress.

They also are playing a disingenuous divide-and-conquer game when it comes to dealing with this bigotry. Conservatives have worked hard to exploit longstanding divisions between Jews and Muslims, taking the side of the former (with more than dose of hypocrisy) as a way to attack the later.

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