RNA - “It’s been very clear to me, especially this last week, that he’s scared of us,” said the Democratic lawmaker from the state of Michigan in an interview published Saturday by UK-based daily The Guardian, referring to herself along with fellow African-American Congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and Ayanna Pressley of the state of Massachusetts, who have become known as “the Squad” for their persistent criticism of Trump’s unyielding anti-immigrant and often racist political rhetoric.
“He’s afraid of women of color … because we’re not afraid of him and we’re not afraid to speak up and say that we have a white supremacist in the White House who has a hate agenda,” the native-Palestinian congresswoman further emphasized.
“He’s afraid because we have a real agenda for the American people,” Tlaib then explained, noting that many of the progressive ideas she and her congressional allies are pursuing – such as strengthening civil rights, ending corporate control of government, eliminating student debt, Medicare for All, and taxing the rich – are popular not just with Democrats but also with independent MPs and even some Republican representatives as well.
'Trump has failed as president'
“He can bring it,” Tlaib added, “because we actually have policies that came from the people. What he’s doing by choosing us four as his target is trying to distract folks from the fact that more people are living in poverty than ever, because he has failed as a president.”
The US president, meanwhile, appears to be bent on portraying Tlaib and her congressional allies – all in their first term in the US House of Representatives – as Democrat party leaders.
“She and her [three] friends are the new face of the Democrat [sic] party,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post last Tuesday, adding: “Live with it!”
Tlaib further underlined that she was confident Trump’s time in office was limited, arguing that he does not seem to realize the Squad is much larger than the four minority lawmakers in Washington and that it includes all the women in the freshman class who come from diverse backgrounds, have overcome challenges, and are up in front of Congress asking “Why?”
'We can defeat not just racism but systemic oppression'
It’s that Squad and the American people who are standing up to Trump, she also emphasized, saying: “I really believe that when we work together, we can defeat this type of hate and the attacks on our families – not just racism, but systemic oppression.”
Tlaib’s remarks came shortly after Trump disrupted a planned visit to occupied Palestinian territories by her and fellow Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar by urging the Israeli regime to block the official tour. The US president then taunted and repeatedly insulted the Michigan lawmaker, calling her obnoxious, violent and crazy.
After Tlaib wept during a press conference, Trump further tweeted that he did not “buy her tears,” also accusing her of “anti-Semitism.”
These were only the latest salvos in an ongoing political scuffle between Trump and Congresswomen Tlaib, Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley, the four progressive Democrats who together make up “the Squad.”
Meanwhile, the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the US and some conservative Michigan Jews who do not even live in Tlaib’s district intend to interfere in her 2020 re-election campaign. They consider her as vulnerable because she represents a majority African-American district and narrowly defeated a black candidate by only 900 votes in the 2018 primary. The pro-Israel lobby plans to support an African-American challenger to prevent Tlaib’s re-election.