To the mind of Ilhan Omar, one of Congress’s youngest members, women of color are the solution, not the problem. The congressional freshman recently went toe-to-toe with Vice President Mike Pence, after he remarked on her position on political developments in Venezuela.
Omar “warned against U.S. military involvement in Venezuela amid political turmoil in the country,” causing Pence to say that she “[didn’t] know what she’s talking about.”
However, Omar’s comments reflect a growing trend among the political left (and to a lesser extent, the right) that more frequently criticizes the abuses of American foreign policy, and especially foreign intervention. Rather than turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed in Abu Grahib, for instance, this left sees it as an American duty to relinquish America’s military stranglehold on the world.
Omar charged that Pence’s comments had less to do with the merits of her arguments than with the color of her skin:
Women of color have heard this before. Instead of "we disagree," it's "she doesn't know what she's talking about." They have to make us feel small.
This from an Administration that thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax. https://t.co/8ZaHfY4hfH
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 3, 2019
Her point — that women of color are often overlooked — isn’t without merit. Conventional wisdom suggests that part of the gender pay gap is because women don’t feel as confident as men to ask for promotions or raises. However, the data suggests that it’s worse than that.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that women were asking for raises as often as men, but they were less likely than men to receive them. The study also answered the question of what they could rule out as motive:
“At referees’ request, after the further analysis, we were able to demonstrate to them that our main finding — women do ask — holds in both large and small companies, and holds for women with and without advanced levels of education. We also demonstrated that the finding is not because female workers have shorter lengths of job tenure or behave differently than men when they have dependent children.”
With all those factors eliminated, it’s hard to see anything other than gender separating otherwise qualified candidates for promotions and raises.
In Omar’s case, Pence’s comments could have just as much to do with her age as with her gender or race. In any case, it’s unacceptable coming from the second-highest position in government.