The politically correct attack on Ilhan Omar

The politically correct attack on Ilhan Omar that’s on the tip of my tongue ,

And if you give me a minute I’ll think of it. Omar, the freshman Democrat from Minnesota, was guilty, in the eyes of President Trump, various Republicans in Congress and those guardians of civil discourse, the editors of the New York Post,

Of failing to show proper deference in discussing the attacks of 9/11. What she said, in a speech last month to the Council on American-Islamic Relations,

a Muslim civil-rights organization, was that CAIR “was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something, and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

(She was mistaken about the year CAIR was established — it was 1994 — but her intended point, that 9/11 was a seminal moment for the organization, was correct.)

Her critics focused on her use of the phrase “some people did something,” rather than the Republican-approved

description of 9/11 as “a horrible attack by radical Islamist terrorists on the United States,

Leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and heroic first responders.” Which is accurate, and it would

probably help Omar get past the episode if she said as much.

But in the context of her remarks, “some people did something” was clearly meant to signal her own distance from the attacks — she was 19 years old and living in Minnesota ,

a refugee from Somalia and a naturalized U.S. citizen — and the unfairness of being stigmatized, along with all other

American Muslims, for what “some people” did.

I’m trying to think of the term for that kind of enforcement of rigid norms of discourse. Factional decorum? No, that’s not it. Ideological propriety? Don’t think so.

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