Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., shared some advice Monday night that she said she received from a friend in response to the controversy over her remarks on the Holocaust: Next time, talk like a fourth grader so “racist idiots” will understand you better.
The freshman lawmaker defended her recent remarks during an appearance on NBC, saying they had been twisted out of context and that she would “continue to speak truth to power.”
Republicans who have condemned Tlaib’s comments include President Donald Trump, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, doubled down on her criticism during a Tuesday morning TV appearance, calling Tlaib’s remarks “sickening.”
The controversy was sparked by an interview published on a Yahoo News’s podcast during which Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, was asked about her support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Tlaib began her response by noting that the United States recently commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day. She then discussed her Palestinian ancestors and the founding of the state of Israel, saying she was “humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer” to create a safe haven for the Jewish people.
“There’s, you know, there’s a kind of a calming feeling, I always tell folks, when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors – Palestinians – who lost their land, and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, had been wiped out . . . all of it . . . in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews.”
Much of the criticism has focused on Tlaib’s use of the phrase “calming feeling” – which she has argued is a deliberate attempt to malign her.
“I want all of us to feel safe, all of us deserve human dignity, no matter our backgrounds, no matter ethnicity, no matter even our political opinions, we all need and deserve that kind of equality and justice,” Tlaib told Meyers.
“And you know, for me, I wanted to uplift that and bring that to light,” she continued. “And it was unfortunate, you know, I got a text message from a friend who’s like, ‘Hey, next time, you know, really clarify. Maybe talk like a fourth grader. Because maybe the racist idiots would understand you better.'”
During an appearance Tuesday morning on Fox News Channel, Cheney was asked about Tlaib’s remarks from the night before.
“I think most fourth graders know what the Holocaust was, and she apparently doesn’t,” Cheney said.
Cheney accused Tlaib of promoting a “view of history that is based on lies, exactly the kind of anti-Semitic lies that are spread to delegitimize the state of Israel.
“And, of course, the Palestinian leadership during World War II actually worked with Adolf Hitler,” Cheney added. “So it really has gone beyond the pale now.”