Republicans promoted a racist video attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, and then dismissed the death threats that Omar faced as her own fault.
On Monday morning, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said he "wholeheartedly" stands by his racist attacks against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), even though his attacks helped lead to death threats against Omar.
In fact, when asked in a CBS News interview if he had any regrets about his actions and the subsequent death threats Omar received, Crenshaw blamed Omar for all of it.
"Anybody who would ever threaten a member of Congress is a horrible human being," Crenshaw said.
"But it is not anybody else's words that caused these things. It is her words," he added. "And you can't lay that blame on anybody else."
Crenshaw was asked the question because he, Trump, and other Republicans shamelessly used the 9-11 terror attacks as a political weapon to attack Omar, a Somali refugee who went on to become one of the first Muslim congresswomen in the United States.
Crenshaw promoted a video of Omar talking about anti-Muslim bigotry after 9-11 to dishonestly imply that Omar was dismissing the importance of 9-11. After both Crenshaw and Trump attacked Omar by promoting the same video, Omar released a statement saying she had "experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the president's video."
In his interview, Crenshaw even acknowledged that he wildly misrepresented Omar's message.
"The broader point that she was making is perfectly fine," Crenshaw said. "The broader point that she was making is that the organization CAIR defends civil liberties and that there was concern about civil liberties post-9/11."
Crenshaw also downplayed the concerns of Muslims living in America after 9-11. The "concern about civil liberties," as he put it, included the fact that 2001 saw a massive spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. In 2001 alone, there were 481 documented hate crimes against Muslims across the country.
Those numbers steadily declined — until Trump began running for president and called for a Muslim ban. His rhetoric caused concern at the Justice Department even before the election.
"We see criminal threats against mosques; harassment in schools; and reports of violence targeting Muslim-Americans, Sikhs, people of Arab or South-Asian descent and people perceived to be members of these groups," Vanita Gupta, who led the Justice Department's civil rights division, told the New York Times in September 2016.
Meanwhile, Crenshaw is the one who really disrespected the memory of 9-11 when he refused to meet with firefighters who were on the ground in New York on that day. And while Omar is a cosponsor of a bill to renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, Crenshaw is not.
Rather than take any responsibility for fanning the flames of hatred, Crenshaw stands by the role he played in perpetuating anti-Muslim violence against his colleague.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.