U.S. congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington State has been a staunch defender of fellow Democrats Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, notwithstanding the very obvious anti-Semitism that both women routinely articulate. In a recent tweet aimed at conservative critics of the pair, Jayapal said: “The increasingly personal attacks on @RashidaTlaib & @IlhanMN are absolutely inappropriate & very unprofessional. As first two Muslim American women elected to Congress, they bring critical lived experience to the chamber. Respect, please.”
The Indian-born Jayapal, who became a U.S. citizen nineteen years ago, has a long history of detecting Muslim victimization wherever she looks. After the 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, for instance, she founded an organization called Hate Free Zone, whose mission was to “address the backlash, hate crimes, and discrimination against immigrant communities of color, primarily Muslims, Arab Americans, East Africans, and South Asians” in the post-9/11 era. Jayapal spent the next 11 years as the head of that group. Her efforts to battle America’s allegedly pervasive Islamophobia were eventually rewarded by President Obama, who in 2013 presented her with a “White House Champion of Change” award.
In an August 9, 2015 editorial lamenting the “centuries of racism” that have plagued America, Jayapal lamented:
“As a country, we still have not recognized or acknowledged what we have wrought and continue to inflict on black people. The bigger results are how black kids as young as two are being disciplined differently in their daycares and pre-k classes. That black people are routinely denied jobs that white people get with the same set of experiences and skills. That black people … continue to die at the hands of police, in domestic violence, on the streets. That black mothers must tell their children as young as seven or eight that they have to be careful about what pants or hoodies they wear or to not assert their rights if stopped. That this country supports an institutionalized form of racism called the criminal justice system that makes profit … on jailing black and brown people.”
She also suggested that as recompense for historical wrongs, the U.S. government should pay “reparations for slavery” to black people.
From 2014-16, Jayapal served as a Democratic member of the Washington State Senate. In 2016 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and promptly joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the most extreme socialist wing of the Democratic Party. She also endorsed yet another longtime anti-Semite, Rep. Keith Ellison, for the post of DNC Chairman.
Particularly outspoken on immigration-related matters, Jayapal in January 2018 published an op-ed in The Nation magazine defending the notion that new immigrants should be permitted to come to the U.S. because of their familial ties to immigrants already here, rather than because of whatever skills or merit they may possess. “Republican attempts to recharacterize this valuable system of family-based immigration as ‘chain migration’ are not just false,” she said. “They are rekindling a racist ideology that was present at the beginning of our immigration system.”
In January 2019, Jayapal stated that President Donald Trump’s “ultimate goal is … to make America pure in the sense of not having immigrants, not having folks of color here and shutting down every form of legal immigration.…” Trump’s policies, she said, were “deeply offensive” to the “soul” and “psyche” of “people of color” who “are seeking asylum [and] who can no longer can get in, even though it’s legal to seek asylum, and not just at a legal port of entry.”
On her official website, Jayapal has pledged to use her position as a legislator to “stand up to the climate change deniers in Congress” by “pushing to reduce carbon emissions,” “invest[ing] in alternative energies like solar and wind power,” and put[ting] an end to toxic fracking and deep water drilling.” She also supports fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s so-called Green New Deal, environmental legislation designed to rapidly eliminate all fossil-fuel use from the U.S. economy, create a basic income program and a federal “living-wage” jobs guarantee, implement a government-run health care system, and replace free-market capitalism with a socialist economic framework.
Rounding out her leftist bona fides, Jayapal vows to fight to help “re-enfranchise the more than two million ex-felons who are African-Americans and [have] paid their debt to society”; “stop the systematic efforts to disenfranchise minority voters by requiring Ids” at polling places; and “fight for raising the federal minimum wage so that the disproportionate number of workers of color in low-wage jobs can be paid fairly for their work.” Moreover, Jayapal is a founding co-chair of the Medicare For All Congressional Caucus, which advocates for the implementation of a government-run health care system.
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