Angela Davis has been outspoken in her support for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn), calling the congresswoman a “courageous, bold black woman.”
The civil rights icon and scholar told “Democracy Now!” on Tuesday that Omar, one of the Muslim women elected to Congress in November, has become the target of President Donald Trump’s vitriol because she is a black Muslim immigrant woman.
Historian, activist and author Barbara Ransby, who joined Davis in the segment, called Omar a “progressive voice that won’t be silenced.”
Ransby and Davis helped organize a rally to support the congresswoman on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon called “Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar.”
The purpose of the rally was to call attention to attacks on Omar, and in particular, the increased death threats she’s received as Trump rails against her.
Earlier this month, the president tweeted a misleading and out-of-context video showing Omar speaking about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In that speech, Omar praised the Council on American-Islamic Relations for its efforts to protect Muslims’ civil rights after Sept. 11 “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
The isolated video clip Trump shared only captured a portion of Omar’s remarks (“some people did something”), suggesting she was being callous about 9/11.
Omar’s office said in a statement earlier this month that she subsequently received threats “directly referencing or replying to the President’s video.”
Ransby told “Democracy Now!” that the rally’s organizers invited “100-plus black women” to the Capitol to stand with Omar.
“Black women from all over the country are coming to say we stand with Ilhan and that other women stand with us,” she said. “So we’re telling the Republicans to back off. We’re also telling the Democrats to step up and have a much more vigorous defense of her.”
Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized Omar for her comments about pro-Israel lobbying efforts.
Davis has faced similar censure. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute reoffered her an award it had previously rescinded, allegedly over Davis’ support for Palestinian rights.
“I am extremely proud that finally, we’ve elected someone to Congress who speaks out in such a powerful way on behalf of black women, on behalf of Palestinians, on behalf of all people who are oppressed,” she told “Democracy Now!”
However, Davis added that she is also “quite afraid” for Omar, given the threats she’s received.
Watch or read the entire “Democracy Now!” interview here.