E.W. Jackson, fundie preacher and former candidate for Lt. Governor in Virginia, is beside himself that two Muslim women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He offers an argument against Ilhan Omar, elected from Minnesota, that is both factually incorrect and highly hypocritical.
Let’s start with a few facts. The House district she was elected from, Minnesota’s District 5, has the highest number of voters of any in the state. It isn’t some small district populated only by Somalis. In fact, the district’s voters are 64% white. What sets it apart is a huge number of millenial voters, much larger than the average district. So no, she didn’t just appeal to Somali immigrants. And by the way, if they were able to vote that means they’re American citizens, so they ARE Americans — whether Jackson likes it or not.
Jackson then turned his attention to Ilhan Omar, another Muslim woman who was elected to Congress as a Democrat from Minnesota, insisting that “she wasn’t really elected by Americans.”
“Folks, as I looked into her background, I’ll tell you, I’m just disgusted by the fact that she got elected to Congress,” Jackson declared. “It does not portend well for our country. First of all, she wasn’t really elected by Americans. She was elected by a Somali community that maintains its sense of difference and distinction and, to use her words, ‘otherness.’ That’s who elected her. That’s why she’s in Congress. She didn’t go out and compete in the marketplace of ideas and talk to all Americans about everything. She didn’t go out and talk to Americans of all kinds of backgrounds, descents, economic status; no, she basically has been raised in the cocoon of a Somali community that set itself up in the Minneapolis area and that is the basis and the source of her power.”
And now the hypocrisy. By Jackson’s “reasoning” — a term I am using very loosely here — virtually every member of the House from the South is illegitimate because their districts are overwhelmingly Christian. That means, according to him, they didn’t have to “compete in the marketplace of ideas and talk to all Americans about everything” and “talk to Americans of all kinds of backgrounds.” So clearly, their elections aren’t legitimate, according to him. Oh wait, I’m sure his, uh, “logic” applies only to Muslims, not Christians, for magical reasons. Stop questioning him. Why do you hate the baby Jesus???