Muslim U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) dismissed criticism over her recent controversial — and inaccurate — remarks on the Holocaust Monday, telling NBC’s “Late Night” host Seth Meyers that a friend advised her to start clarifying her comments by speaking at a fourth grade level so “racist idiots” might be able to understand what she means.
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Speaking on a podcast with Yahoo! News last week, the freshman representative said “a calming feeling” comes over her when she thinks of the Holocaust because her Palestinian ancestors sacrificed to provide a “safe haven” for Jews in the aftermath.
Tlaib’s comments were met with scathing rebukes from Republican leaders, whom she accused of twisting of her words. But even left-leaning outlet CNN scorned her revisionist history with a fact-check segment.
Meyers gave Tlaib an opportunity to “provide some context” on her remarks. She began by explaining that her grandmother “lives in the West Bank — in the occupied territories of Palestine” and asserted there was “something beautiful about the fact” that many of her ancestors had died or given up their livelihoods and “human dignity” to “provide a safe haven for Jews in our world.”
The congresswoman insisted she just wanted to “honor” and recognize that and for “Palestinian people to also find some kind of light in what’s happening.”
Tlaib then called the interpretation of her comments during the Yahoo! interview “unfortunate,” before telling Meyers, “You know, I got a text message from a friend who was like, ‘Hey next time, you know, really clarify, maybe talk like a fourth grader because maybe the racist idiots would understand you better.”
Meyers responded, “I actually think it wouldn’t hurt for all of us to talk about the history of that part of the world on a fourth grade level because I actually don’t think a lot of us here understand it.”
He went say there was a “bad faith” argument made Monday that Tlaib was “calmed by the Holocaust,” but a “good faith” argument that “maybe your history was not in alignment with everyone else.”
Neither Tlaib or Meyers went into the details of how the congresswoman’s interpretation of history was different from “everyone else,” ignoring the fact that Palestinian leaders at the time of the Holocaust actually had aligned with German leader Adolf Hitler to assist in exterminating the Jewish community.
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