Washington Post profile on Ilhan Omar demonstrates the perks of social justice victimhood

Put yourself forward as a victim of American racism, sexism, or any other form of bigotry, and you can get away with pretty much anything.

Case in point, a Washington Post profile over the weekend on Rep. Ilhan Omar opened with the congresswoman telling what was essentially a lie, leaving the authors of the piece only mildly intrigued.

The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe and Sound Mekhennet described how the Minnesota Democrat, speaking in front of a group of Minneapolis high school students, recalled working on justice issues for a local councilman. She said she once saw a woman arrested and ordered to pay an $80 fine after she had stolen a loaf of bread from a grocery store to feed her children. The story was intended to illustrate a defect of the justice system.

It was also almost certainly B.S.

“Omar’s story echoed the plot of ‘Les Miserables,’” wrote Jaffe and Mekhennet. “If true, it is also probably embellished. City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class.”

That’s a generous way of saying that Omar probably made it up. Or, as the Post later put it, Omar had “flubbed some facts.”

The profile was later just as forgiving of the suspicious cloud hanging over Omar’s personal biography, specifically when it comes to her two separate marriages, one of which may have been a sham.

Local Minneapolis news outlets have been trying for years to get to the bottom of Omar’s marriage to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who Omar has only described as a British citizen and otherwise remained mute about. Traffic records, marriage records, and divorce records, however, all indicate that Omar was living with her current husband, Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, even while married to Elmi. She also filed jointly with Hirsi during years that she was married to Elmi.

To that fascinating detour of Omar’s life, the Post profile dedicated one sole paragraph that treats the whole thing like it’s just a conservative delusion. “Conservative blogs dug into her complicated marital history,” the authors wrote with great apparent interest. “She and the father of her three children split temporarily in the 2000s but still filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was legally married to someone else.”

That’s it — a reference to potential tax fraud and a mysterious “someone else,” and that’s that. The next paragraph, if you can believe, simply went on to note that Omar once “danced in a Maroon 5 video alongside lead singer Adam Levine and was interviewed by Trevor Noah of ‘The Daily Show.’”

It’s not that there aren’t actual parts of Omar’s life that deserve more scrutiny or that she hasn’t said things that deserve being called out as lies. It’s that as a black Muslim woman, she merits a high enough victim status on the social justice intersectionality scale of oppression that journalists are supposed to tiptoe around facts.

Omar doesn’t want to talk about her bizarre marriage history (excuse me, I mean, “complicated marriage history”), so the national media won’t make her. And they’ll give her a soft landing when she needs to recover from a lie.

That’s what being a victim in America will get you.

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