Tlaib: Failing to take the Jan. 6 insurrection seriously will ‘lead to more death’

    U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib at the "Take on Hate" rally in Dearborn, Aug. 29, 2019 | Allison Donahue

    In an emotional speech on the House floor Thursday night, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) urged her Republican colleagues to take the insurrection of Jan. 6 seriously and remember how real the stakes are for many.

    Some GOP members have been insisting that everyone “move on” from the violent actions of former President Donald Trump supporters who took over the U.S. Capitol, leaving five dead. Tlaib said doing so would only lead to more violence and deaths.

    “I have to tell you, the trauma from being here existing as a Muslima is so hard,” Tlaib said through tears. “It’s so hard, but imagine my team [that] I love and just adore. They are diverse. I have LGBTQ staff. I have a beautiful Muslima that wears her hijab proudly in the hall. I have Black women that are so proud to be here to serve their country. And I worry every day for their lives because of this rhetoric. I never thought that they would feel unsafe here,” Tlaib said.

    Tlaib responds to death threat, says she must ‘outwork the hate’

    Tlaib, who is in her second term, was not at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but says she lives in fear for herself and her team, because she knows they are targets.

    “On my very first day of orientation, I got my first death threat. It was a serious one. They took me aside, the FBI had to go to the gentleman’s home. I didn’t even get sworn in yet, and someone wanted me dead for just existing. More came later. Uglier, more violent,” Tlaib said, adding that “each one paralyzed me.”

    “From the shootings in Charlottesville to the massacre at the [Pittsburgh] synagogue — all of it, all of it is led by hate rhetoric like this. And so I urge my colleagues to please, please take what happened on January 6 seriously. It will lead to more death. And we can do better. We must do better,” Tlaib said.

    Laina G. Stebbins
    Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, immigration and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).