(City Journal) -- Since she entered Congress earlier this year, freshman Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar has consistently made news with her anti-Semitism, which may yet force the Democratic Party into a corner. Less noticed—and apparently even less troubling to her party—is the hostility Omar shows in public statements about her adopted country. Omar was born in Somalia, which she fled with her family at age nine, during the country’s civil war. She spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya until the United States rescued her and her family in 1995. It’s not surprising that she has made her remarkable experience a centerpiece of her political campaigns and public life.
What is surprising is the extent to which her narrative consists of complaints about the intolerance, racism, inequity, and filth that she found when she came to the United States, and since. Gratitude, for the country and the people who saved and welcomed her family, is largely absent from her telling. Interviewed on the popular Pod Save America podcast, Omar explained that when her family was preparing for resettlement in America, they watched orientation videos “about the life that they are to expect once they arrive here . . . happy families, and dinner tables where there is an abundance of food, images of happy young children running off to their school buses . . . images of a country where people are happy and leading a life that is prosperous. You are really looking forward to life as you see it on that screen.”