The first Somali-American legislator


If you’re not from Minnesota, you may not have heard of Ilhan Omar, but here’s why you need to. She made U.S. history as the first Somali-American lawmaker when she was elected to the Minnesota State Legislature in 2017 and has an incredible story that’s changing the narrative on who gets to run for office and lead America.

Omar joined “Salon Talks” with director Norah Shapiro, who created a new documentary “Time for Ilhan,” that chronicles Omar’s historic campaign and how she beat a 43-year incumbent. “There is the assumption that because of my faith and because of my gender and the current context of our political climate that ­­­–– that would be the bigger challenge,” Omar told SalonTV’s D. Watkins in regards to dealing with racism and Islamophobia. “But my age was a bigger barrier, being mother of small children was a bigger barrier. People ask me ‘how are you going to balance motherhood while running for office and being a legislator?’ and I would say do you ask that to male candidates who are also fathers.”

Watch the interview above to hear what Omar thinks about President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, Africa and Muslims. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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