Over the weekend the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association posted a meme that depicted Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan as “The Jihad Squad.” The movie poster style photo was eventually taken down by the group, but the organization’s president fell short of offering an actual apology.
In the meme, Omar is seen holding an automatic rifle, while Pressley points a gun. Tlaib is seemingly yelling, and Ocasio-Cortez has flames coming from the bottom of her dress. The language that goes along with the image states, “POLITICAL JIHAD IS THEIR GAME.” At the bottom it reads, “IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU’RE RACIST.”
Screenshots of the Facebook post have a watermark of the organization’s logo. It is still unclear who originated the meme or posted it to the social media page. However, condemnation from both sides of the aisle is pouring in. CNN reports that “two top GOP officials” have given the act a strong rebuke.
The freshman congresswomen have been under scrutiny since joining the House ranks in January. Recently a dust-up between the women and elder members of Congress made national headlines. In the days following, Donald Trump posted a flurry of racist tweets that told the women to “go back” to their own country.
On Sunday he doubled down on that sentiment by tweeting, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”
In a CBS News/YouGov poll, 87 percent of Americans said that the country is divided along racial lines. 48 percent believe Trump’s tweets were racist.