On MSNBC Thursday morning, Rep. Rashida Tlaib defended comments made by her colleague, Rep. Ilhan Omar, regarding the 9/11 terrorist attacks, saying Omar "speaks truth to power."
MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson asked Tlaib about Omar’s comments and whether she thought Omar should have chosen her words more carefully.
"They do this all the time to us, especially women of color. They do that. They take our words out of context because they are afraid because we speak truth, we speak truth to power," Tlaib said. "My sister, Ilhan Omar, what she was talking about was uplifting people by supporting their civil liberties and their civil rights."
"They’ve never had two Muslim women, they've never had a Palestinian-American," she said. "They've never had a woman that was a refugee." In fact, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen fled Cuba with her family at the age of 7.
"Taking it out of context, this is just a pure racist act by many of those, hateful acts by those, because she does speak the truth," Tlaib added. "I'm really outraged because as a person who has gotten direct death threats myself I know that her life is put in more danger."
"The fact that these people are irresponsibly taking those words out of context and endangering the life of Rep. Omar is immoral, it is wrong, and it needs to be called out by many my colleagues not just myself. They need to stop targeting her this way, it is absolutely putting her life in danger."
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB: I’m not for policing people. You know, that’s what they’re doing to us women of color. I mean, think about it, this is a diverse class. They’ve never had two Muslim women, they've never had a Palestinian-American. They've never had a woman that was a refugee. These are real life impactful stories that come with us because our land is so different. You know, this is not just about a Congress that looks differently but we serve differently and we talk about these issues differently.
It’s an institution that is not ready for people like us, real people. We’re just like any other Americans. When I talk about my immigrant mother, when I talk about my -- my grandmother in Palestine, when I talk about living in poverty in the city of Detroit, I mean, all of those things are so important in being at that table. They talked about us for so long and it's now one of us is there. People that are directly impacted by the Muslim ban, directly impacted by anti-immigrant rhetoric, directly impacted about -- on issues around racial injustice. All of those things. It’s been missing in this chamber for so long.
And now that sister Ilhan Omar is there they can label it whatever they want because that's the way to try discredit her. But her voice matters. And I'll tell you, more and more people believe in what she’s doing than people against it. And I wish we’d uplift those people. Because 70 percent of her community is white and they elected her. The majority of people that elected her do not share the same faith as her. And they believed in her and made her a United States congresswoman. And that is what we need to be talking about more.