"Some people did something" quote

I’m hoping to keep this GQ, but I have my doubts as to if it is possible.

Rep. Omar said, “far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

I’ve seen a lot of people and articles complain that her words above were being taken out of context. I understand how some might agree or disagree with her characterization, but how are they being mis-contextualized? Is she not referring to the 9/11 attacks? Isn’t the context right there that she is talking to CAIR about why CAIR was founded?

It is tribalism–one side gives knee-jerk attacks (no matter how tenuous) againt the other side, while the other side must give knee-jerk defenses, no matter how strained.

The folks that seem to be quoting her are quoting only the “some people did something”, and are implying that she is trying to whitewash it. They want everyone to remember ‘the muslims did it’. THey leave out the context of the rest of the sentence you have quoted, which clearly shows that the ‘some people’ were referring to muslims.

They want to imply that she is minimizing that 3000 people died by saying it was ‘just’ someone did something.

Like someone just ran a red light or something…not really a big deal.

THat’s the context that the statement is trying to be cast as.

Here’s a Washington Post video about it. The idea that her critics are attempting to convey is that she was being flippant or minimizing something awful.

Listening to the fuller context, I don’t find what she said to be at all eyebrow-raising or controversial.

The people criticizing her don’t give the full quote. They simply include the “some people did something” bit, and then act like she was using this phrase to describe what happened on 9/11/01. That’s taking the phrase out of its context.

I’m not sure it would matter, much, to the audience that her critics are addressing. Even if the full quote were given, people would still harp on her choice of words. If she had been thinking of the impact of what she said on a wider audience, she might have chosen to be more clear as to her meaning, which is that the actions of “some people” have resulted in a restriction in rights for “all of us”.

It’s also incorrect and the idea is that CAIR was founded as a reaction to 9-11. CAIR was founded in 1994 to react to a movie in which the bad guys were Islamists. The claim that it was simply a reaction to post-9-11 rights violations serves to downplay accusations against it of ties to Islamist groups by painting it as a victim. Whether it is or is not a victim is immaterial, but rather that it is a claim which intentionally distorts history to advance a narrative, regardless of the veracity of the narrative.


I’m having doubts, too. You’re asking us to speculate about others’ motives, in a context where taking their word on their motives won’t be adequate. I can’t see how any factual answer could be possible. Moving to GD.

It seems to me the right wing media is purposely trying to make it seem as if she was referring to the 20 terrorists as being the “some people who did something.” Upon reading the full quote it’s clear she isn’t talking about the terrorists at all, but rather about the people who responded. The way I interpret what she was saying seems to me to be something like this.

  1. Something bad happened, the 9/11 attacks.

  2. Some people actually did something about it, as opposed to sitting on their asses and not doing anytiing.

  3. Therefore we should be inspired to continue the fight against the terrorists / bad guys in general, and also do something rather than just sitting on our asses.

Now where’s the outrage in that?

I don’t read it that way at all. She is saying that on 9/11, “some people did something” meaning that some extreme Muslims did something and now every Muslim is in danger of losing their civil liberties because of it.

Not a bad point to make, but the phrase “some people did something” seems awfully dismissive what what those some people did.

It would be like a southerner who professed to be for equal rights for blacks in the 1960s complaining that the federal government was intruding on state powers and hurtful to southern whites simply because “some people did something.”

Whatever the correctness or incorrectness of the point being made, it is insensitive to describe terrible atrocities or terrorist attacks as the equivalent of a few kids drinking beer tossing litter on the highways. That’s the way it comes across, and when you have a history of insensitive comments, you opponents will seize on that.

What Omar said was a pretty bad choice of words. That being said, flubs happen. Nobody has an entire speech pre-scripted and rehearsed in advance; when one has to make a long steady stream of remarks on the fly, something less-than-ideal is bound to be said.

I don’t believe I’ve ever agreed with UltraVires before but I do here. This is exactly how i read her statement as well.

Probably because that is exactly, precisely how she meant it.

Another Doper mind-reader! Kudos to you for your superpowers, and I hope you use them for good and not evil!

I don’t even know what she meant, it’s babble within the context of the sentence.

If by “something,” she meant 9/11, then basis for taking offense I suppose is to say she’s trivializing it by not using one of the many cliched phrases that people typically recite by rote.

Which should be at about the same level as not wearing a flag pin.

It occurs to me that if Trump described, say, the Unite the Right rally as “Some people doing something” then, regardless of context, posters here wouldn’t let him forget it for a thousand years.

He referred to them (or some of them, anyway) as “good people”. Were you not aware of that?

Of course I was. Irrelevant. If he hadn’t referred to them as good people, and if instead he’d described them as “Some people doing something”, posters here wouldn’t have let him forget it for a thousand years.

She is politically tone deaf and she was broadcasting. Some people did something at Nanking, Bergen Belsen, dachau and for shits and giggles, see what she says about some people did something at Sabra and Shatilla.