Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-MN (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Facebook and Twitter urged to suspend Donald Trump after attack on Ilhan Omar

Activists target major social media CEOs with petition aimed at Trump: "We don't have to give hate a platform"


Andrea Germanos
April 15, 2019 11:00AM (UTC)
This article originally appeared at Common Dreams. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Supporters of Rep. Ilhan Omar are urging Facebook and Twitter to suspend President Trump's accounts after the president posted a video attacking the Minnesota Democrat.

"We don't have to give hate a platform," a new petition states.

Launched Saturday by the Women's March, it accuses the president of "inciting violence and engaging in hate speech" through the "propaganda video targeting Congresswoman Omar" he posted Friday which uses an out-of-context phrase Omar said in reference to 9/11.

The Women's March called it "a despicable and irresponsible attack" that "is as dangerous as it is unprecedented."

The petition calls on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to "do the right thing" and suspend Trump from their platforms "for inciting violence and engaging in hate speech. Remove his propaganda video targeting Congresswoman Omar."

In an email to supporters on Sunday, CODEPINK said it wanted to "echo" their call: "Don't give hate a platform."

The women-led group also denounced the video, calling it "a dangerous incitement [that] puts Rep. Omar's life in danger."

"If Twitter and Facebook allow the video and Trump's racist incitement to remain on social media," the group wrote, "they will be responsible, too."

The video, as well as the attacks last week by Republicans and right-wing media, prompted many on social media to reiterate: #IStandWithIlhanOmar.

Acknowledging that support, Omar said in a tweet on Saturday, "Thank you for standing with me — against an administration that ran on banning Muslims from this country — to fight for the America we all deserve."

She also vowed to "stand undeterred to continue fighting for equal opportunity in our pursuit of happiness for all Americans."

Democratic leadership, meanwhile, is also facing heat in the aftermath of the video.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under fire for issuing a "cowardly" statement that, as analyst Juan Cole wrote, "was so anodyne that Pelosi didn't even mention Omar's name."

Responding to that apparent omission, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., said on Twitter: "They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse. However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us."

The White House, for its part, doubled down on its attack on Omar Sunday.

In an interview with ABC News, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted, "It's a good thing that the president is calling [Omar] out."

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Andrea Germanos

Andrea Germanos is a senior editor and staff writer at Common Dreams.

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