I confess that I, too, was initially alarmed seeing a video of a guitar playing passenger in the aisle leading an airborne cabin of fliers in a song celebrating Jesus Christ on Easter weekend. The religious nature of the song didn’t bother me, but rather my dislike of people standing in the aisles and crowding the little space those of us who fly economy are granted. I’d be bothered even if the guitar player was singing classic Israeli folk songs, music I find quite inspiring.

Minnesota Rep. Ilan Omar was also bothered by the video, but it was the celebration of Jesus that sparked her ire. “I think my family and I should have a prayer session next time I am on a plane. How you think it will end?” Omar tweeted.

It was a rhetorical question. Omar was clearly implying that if her family engaged in religious song and prayer on an airborne flight, there would be trouble. Of course, anyone who objected would be tagged an Islamophobe, validating the bigotry and hate that Omar and her media enablers say is so pervasive in America.

As it turned out, the flight celebrating Jesus was no ordinary flight. It reportedly was a domestic flight chartered by Kingdom Realm Ministries, flying between Georgia and Philadelphia. Kingdom Realm’s website is under construction but judging by its holding page, music appears central to its mission.

Omar’s tweet wasn’t intended to promote understanding, but rather to provoke rage. Had she wanted to sway people she was implicitly attacking, she would have praised the Christian celebration of Jesus, and said she hopes that all religions would be welcomed to celebrate in song at 35,000 ft. That would have been a positive message, admittedly not one that would keep her relevant in the Twittersphere.

I wonder how Omar would have reacted if the guitar player was leading the cabin in songs celebrating Judaism. This past weekend marked the Jewish holiday of Passover, when it’s customary to say, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” The significance and meaning of that phrase is open to wide interpretation not necessarily meaning physically relocating to the Israeli capital. Given Omar’s past comments, it seems safe to speculate she’d possibly cite it as an example of the “dual loyalties” of American Jews.

By referring to her family holding a public prayer session, Omar implied that she is a religious person who complies with the teachings of Islam. Those teachings include a prohibition against adultery, which according to the Washington Post and a host of other publications, there is credible evidence she engaged in, despite repeated denials.

Ilan Omar

In Omar’s native Somalia, adultery is still punishable by stoning, even when it involves a 13-year-old who was allegedly raped. Omar prefers not to talk about Somalia’s atrocities, but rather wrongdoings in the U.S. that likely never happened.

As reported by the Washington Post, Omar told a group of 400 suburban Minneapolis students about once encountering a “sweet, old …African American lady” who had been arrested for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her “starving 5-year-old granddaughter.” Even the Washington Post conceded this story was false or embellished. Minneapolis police don’t arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime.

Omar isn’t alone in wanting to incite anger. Another perpetrator is the New York Times.

On the eve of Passover, the Times published this commentary by Shalom Auslander headlined, “In This Time of War, I Propose We Give Up God.” I have no issue with Auslander’s commentary, and I highly recommend his book, “Foreskin’s Lament.” It was the timing of Auslander’s commentary; the Times thought the eve of a holy weekend for Christians and Jews was an ideal time to trash God and by extension those who believe and pray to a higher being.

It’s what I expect from the Times. In 2019, the Times in advance of the July 4th holiday published this opinion video declaring that “Please Stop Telling Me America Is So Great.” The following month the Times published its discredited “1619 Project” that originally maintained that the American Revolution was fought in large part to preserve slavery in America.

Hollywood never misses an opportunity to disrespect those who don’t share the feigned values of celebrities. At the opening of the Oscars this year, hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, Regina Hall went out of their way to mock the majority of Americans who support Florida’s bill prohibiting “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

“For all you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night,” the Oscar hosts declared. “Gay. Gay. Gay. Gay,” they repeated as they pranced around to squeals of approval from the audience.

I cite all these examples in response to Paul Krugman’s April 18 column headlined, “Republicans Say, ‘Let Them Eat Hate’,” which argues that Republican party as a whole has “turned to hate-based politics.” Krugman’s issue is with the rhetoric of Ohio Senate candidates J.D. Vance and Josh Mandel, who he says are engaged in a “race to the bottom.”

What Krugman conveniently ignores is what incited all his alleged hate speech. Krugman acknowledges the displacement of white working-class males but makes no mention of Hillary Clinton referring to them as “deplorables” or Obama saying, “it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

When people feel continuously disrespected and their values publicly diminished, they will respond in kind. It’s a vicious circle, one that Joe Biden promised to end if elected president.

Krugman has been one of Biden’s biggest cheerleaders. Last July 5, Krugman hailed Biden’s handling of the economy and declared, “It’s Morning in Joe Biden’s America.” In early March Krugman opined that “when Biden administration officials argue that they’ve done a better job on the economy than they get credit for, they have truth on their side.”  Krugman famously warned that Donald Trump’s election would result in a “global recession, with no end in sight.”

Polls indicate that the Republicans are poised to gain control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections. Krugman invariably will see it as a sign that Americans embraced hate speech rather an acknowledgement that what Americans really hate are people who perform and act badly.

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