Trump stokes the flames of animosity against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar at Minneapolis rally

Scott Selmer, Editor-in-Chief

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President Trump gave his base plenty of red meat at his first Minneapolis rally, October 18. He spent much of his time ranting against the Democrat lead impeachment inquiry and hurling pejoratives at local and national Democrats, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In a profanity laden invective, Trump called Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey “rotten, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. He labeled U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar an “America-hating socialist” and said former Vice President Joe Biden “was a good vice president because he knew how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.”

Trump has a history of targeting Omar in tweets and at his rallies. He has called her un-patriotic along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, all women of color, who he has demanded to go back to where they came from, despite the fact that all except Omar, was born in the United States.

Minneapolis College is one of the more racially and ethnically diverse colleges in the metro area.  A substantial number of Somali students attend the college. The Minneapolis College campus is located downtown not far from the Target Center where the rally took place.

“How do you have such a person representing you in Minnesota? She is a disgrace to our country and she is one of the big reasons I am going to win,” Trump said, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Mohamed Sharif, Minneapolis College Student. Photo by Scott Selmer

Mohamed Sharif, Minneapolis College student said as to  Omar,  “I think she’s cool. I like how she speaks her mind. She doesn’t really hide anything. She comes for people if she thinks they are not doing something right.” As to the president, he said,  “I can respect Trump. I think he’s gutsy. He’ll say anything. And, it’s funny to me but at the same time I don’t agree with his political standpoints. He doesn’t like foreign people. He doesn’t like foreign people coming in from different countries. He’s doing all these things like the travel band, the wall. I remember watching the rally, he was talking about how Omar divorced her husband because she just wanted to get here to America. He was making a joke of it or something.”

James Heider, Minneapolis College student said, as to Omar “I voted for her.”  He said he thinks Trump’s “sentiments toward her are rooted in hate because of her gender and her skin color. It’s kind of just a political move because she speaks up against what he speaks for. It’s political turmoil between the two.”

James Heider, Minneapolis College student. Photo by Scott Selmer

Omar Mohamad said, “I am not that political but I asked my dad and he said he doesn’t support what she does sometimes. He doesn’t like the Democrats. He likes the Republicans. But, at the same time he doesn’t like Trump. I think Trump is like a kid in the White House. Imagine giving a kid under age a car so he can do whatever he wants with it. That’s what it feels like. He said he doesn’t think Trump should be saying the things he says about Omar because he is the president.”

Trump narrowly missed victory in Minnesota; however it was

Omar Mohamad. Photo by Scott Selmer.

not close in Minneapolis Minnesota’s biggest urban area, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. Trump chose to come to the heart of liberalism, Minneapolis. In 2016 he gained only 18% of the vote in what is actually Omar’s district, the Fifth Congressional District district.

Trump emphasized his desire to change the existing refugee resettlement policies that generated Minneapolis’ large Somali immigrant community by giving individual communities more say over who they want settling in their neighborhoods, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The crowd reacted with boos at his mentioning the large Somali community.

“He shouted xenophobic conspiracy theories about me. He scolded my district for voting for me,” Omar tweeted in response, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Omar, who was out of town during Trump’s rally for safety reasons, used Trump’s attack to encourage her supporters to donate to her campaign, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Although Trump has little chance of winning in the Fifth District, or Minneapolis, next year his campaign has said it  intends to redouble its efforts and spend millions in a concerted attempt to flip Minnesota in the coming election, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Melisa Meyer-Thompson, 54, of Cannon Falls, carried a sign that said, “Trump is not Minnesota Nice,” Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. She said Trump does not represent what she believes America should be.

Craig Siewert said he supported Trump because they shared many of the same values, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Police had been on alert much of the night. In various parts of the downtown area,Trump supporters and opponents shouted insults at one another. In some instances, protestors yelled “racist” at people who attended the rally, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Some Trump supporters responded by flipping their middle finger, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Despite the cold and gloomy weather, thousands of supporters and protestors gathered downtown to air their feelings. Minneapolis police announced one person was arrested, Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.