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Tipsheet

Omar Admits Story She Told About Racism May Not Have Been Entirely Accurate

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar admitted the story she told hundreds of high school students highlighting racism and economic inequality may not have been accurate. 

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Appearing before a crowd of Richfield High School students, Omar recalled how five years prior, she was working for a Minneapolis city councilman and was tasked with documenting problems with the courts. 

There, she recalled encountering a “sweet, old . . . African American lady” who had been arrested for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her “starving 5-year-old granddaughter.”

After spending the weekend in jail, the woman was led into the courtroom and fined $80 — a penalty she couldn’t pay. “I couldn’t control my emotions,” Omar continued, “because I couldn’t understand how a roomful of educated adults could do something so unjust.”

“Bulls---!” she recalled yelling in the courtroom. (Washington Post)

The story was highlighted by The Washington Post, which said it was remarkably similar to the plot of Les Miserables.

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“If true, it is also probably embellished,” the paper noted. “City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class.”

Omar then admitted that she may have gotten some facts wrong about the story. 

“She might have had a prior [arrest],” the Minnesota Democrat said. “I’m not sure. . . . The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember.”

Just like for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it seems it was more important to her to be morally right than factually correct

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