Republican Rep. Jim Banks has been getting grilled ever since he tweeted an ignorant and, quite frankly, racist criticism of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Omar explained that the escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran made her feel “ill a little bit because of everything that is taking place.” She added, “And I think every time I hear about — I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war.”
Omar’s mention of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) obviously didn’t sit well with Banks because he soon would tweet:
“Rep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s ‘stricken with PTSD’ because of recent events in the Middle East. This is a disgrace and offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.”
Clearly, Banks doesn’t know anything about PTSD because if he did, he would understand that it’s not just military veterans who suffer from the condition. In fact, people like Omar who’ve fled war-torn countries are just as likely to experience PTSD as people in the armed forces.
One U.S. veterans group, Common Defense, was quick to point this out to Banks. “This is a tremendously ignorant thing to say,” they tweeted at him. “Veterans like us know that people wearing uniforms aren’t the only ones impacted by war. @Ilhan is a refugee. We stand with her against hawkish elites like you. #VetsForIlhan #EndForeverWar.“
According to Newsweek, Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1981 and she fled the country with her family when she was 10 years old around the start of the Somali Civil War in 1991. Omar spent four years in Kenya at a refugee camp before she arrived in the United States in 1995. She would go on to become one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, along with Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib in 2018.
Omar clapped back at Banks, saying PTSD is actually quite real for her. “Hi Jim,” she started in a tweet posted late Wednesday afternoon. “I survived war as a child and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder — much like many who have served or lived through war.”
The Democratic Congresswoman from Minnesota added, “It’s shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors.”
It’s also quite racist to dismiss the many Black and Brown people who are casualties or witnesses to war and instead only favor the trauma of U.S. military veterans.
Not to mention, many other groups suffer from PTSD, including sexual assault survivors, victims of poverty and Black people who are victims of police violence. Twitter made sure Banks knew the facts. You can check out some of the heated commentary below.