I feel like I am having this extensive nightmare running on a loop that I cannot wake up from. I have purposefully taken my time to collect my thoughts and tamper down my visceral response to what is unfolding before all of our eyes prior to writing this entry. My system keeps being shocked by the current political events happening in this country right now. I usually try to be Switzerland when it comes to using this particular platform for political statements (this is my safe space dammit), but I cannot be silent when women are being attacked (by OTHER women and the POTUS) in such a cowardly but dangerous way.
Unless you have been living under a rock, vacationing on a lovely remote island or, like me, have been trying your hardest to keep your spirit safe from the clusterf*ck happening to the leadership of this country, the dominant news story has been about the POTUS’ racist statements about people of color in elected leadership positions of Congress needing to go back to the country they came from. I have had to endure listening to people defend his statements and turn themselves into pretzels attempting to explain what he really meant to say. It is clear to me what he said, as I take people at face value.
I have watched and listened to other elected officials sit by and do or say nothing. Their silence more deafening than listening to the crowd chanting “send her back” when the POTUS uses a rally to single out not only representative Ilhan Omar, but the three other congressman of color. Who are these people that follow such hateful and dangerous rhetoric willfully? I actually have an answer. They are your neighbors, co-workers, friends from church, family, people you may have passed in the grocery store or in an airport. They are people who see “the other” as not really belonging in this country and are ecstatic to finally have someone give public voice for their feelings. They are entitled to feel however they feel but what the POTUS and the people at this rally have done is put a woman in public leadership in danger. Period.
Representative Omar is an elected official of Congress of the United States of America. She is a minority Muslim woman who decided that instead of speaking of the change she wanted to see for her community and country that she would do something about it. She was elected into congress by her constituents she represents. Criticizing your government at any level does not warrant an attack such as this. There is so much I can say about the lack of leadership from our POTUS and all 100% of his enablers, but I won’t. I will not give them anymore of my energy, as you can read plenty of articles for various positions about this alone.
Instead, I will focus on the grace and leadership that I am watching unfold by Representative Omar. I am singling her out, because this is who the POTUS has chosen to bully and endanger. As a black woman in leadership, I look around constantly for examples of what I do or do not want to become as I continue to evolve as a leader. I get this inspiration in all types of ways. It can be from other women of any color, minority women, and yes of course men. Leadership presents itself in all types of people and l look for inspiration in everything around me daily. I was up early this morning and as much as I wanted to avoid reading one more thing about this despicable story, I couldn’t help myself; but then the universe intervened and I found the below article. The title: “As Trump Supporters Chant ‘Send Her Back’, Ilhan Omar Says She’ll Rise in the Face of Hate” gave me hope! Dr. Maya Angelou to the rescue from heaven! “Still I Rise”; If you don’t know, this is one of Dr. Angelou’s most famous poems and artfully chosen as a source of encouragement by Representative Omar. A quick Google search will get you to the full poem. I know in Omar’s heart she is burdened and feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. How could she not when full blown rallies are being had with thousands of people spitting hateful rhetoric, led by the POTUS. Hell, I am 45 and if you send me a mean email, I imagine that by the 100th one, I will be perturbed.
I cannot imagine what it must be like to be on the receiving end of THIS. Therefore, my inspiration for leadership today comes from this woman. This is what leadership should look like. Having the courage to stand tall, head held high in the face of adversity is no easy feat. It is much easier to be bold and boastful when things are going well or your way. It is not until you are faced with adversity that you see what a person is made of. What I see in her is a type of strength, resolve, determination and courage that it takes to actually be a leader and impact people’s lives positively.
I hope Rep Omar continues to find encouragement from the millions of people who have poured out support for her. She willed me to not be silent on this and to ensure I gave my support to this brave woman leader. Leaders are not always living a blissful easy life. This is what true leadership looks like. Thank GOD we get to see an example of this considering we are lacking basic fundamental healthy leadership in our country right now. Thank you, Rep Omar, for choosing to be about action, pushing through adversity and having the grace and class to deal with the classless. I will be glad when we get back to a place where people can have different opinions, views on policy, and philosophy and it not turn into this type of bullying and hateful dangerous discourse. In the meantime, I will keep working to lead and help other leaders come forward to LEAD.
1. Do not @ me about anything related to defining what “send her back” really means. I am clear.
2. Do not @ me with any comments about anti-anything comments you believe Rep Omar has said without fact checking any of it. And even then, do not @ me.
3. Do not @ me defending anything in the video embedded in the article.
4. If you are a woman and you have made it your business to bring other women down, do not @ me, email me, # me, or send me a message in a bottle.