Earlier this year, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) spoke at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser, where she described the 9/11 terrorist attacks with some of the most callous and dehumanizing language we can imagine from a member of the United States Congress. Nearly 3,000 Americans were slaughtered by 19 Islamist jihadis on 9/11, but in praising CAIR for standing up for Muslims and “all of us [who] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties” in the aftermath, Omar said of 9/11 that “some people did something.”
Most Americans were appalled at that description and rejected it at the time. The 9/11 remembrance ceremonies yesterday provided another opportunity.
Nicholas Haros Jr., speaking at Ground Zero about the murder of his mother that day, had some choice words for Omar. Haros said, “‘Some people did something,’ said a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota. … Today I am here to respond to you. Exactly who did what to whom? Madam, objectively speaking we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” After recounting the events of that horrific day, Haros said rhetorically, “Is that clear?”
He then said to the victims’ families gathered at the memorial, “But as to whom, I was attacked, your relatives and friends were attacked, our constitutional freedoms were attacked, and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles [was] attacked. That’s what some people did. Got that now? We are here today, congresswoman, to tell you and ‘The Squad’ just who did what to whom. Show respect in honoring them, please. American patriotism and your position demand it.”
In a related bit of dehumanizing spin, the flagship newspaper of the Leftmedia, The New York Times — yes, the one based in New York — marked the day with this: “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.”
Were those planes on autopilot and the whole thing was just a terrible accident? The Times’s editors did get the message, changing that to read, “Eighteen years have passed since terrorists commandeered airplanes to take aim at the World Trade Center and bring them down.”
That’s more accurate, though it still only makes an ambiguous reference to “terrorists” with no reported motive. But the original transparent effort to direct attention away from the jihadi perpetrators is akin to the Leftmedia’s propaganda narrative about guns committing crimes. Where media outlets do pin the blame on an assailant, it’s always a “gunman” so as to emphasize the tool he used rather than his own twisted motivations. Sept. 11 was no more an “airplane problem” than mass shootings are a “gun problem.”
In short, words mean things, and when discussing the ideologically driven murder of thousands of people, it’s critical to get those words right.