Sen. Fateh calls GOP Senators terrorists and white supremacists during speech

The Minnesota legislature reached another new low this week when Sen. Omar Fateh called Minnesota Senate Republicans terrorists and white supremacists during his speech on the Senate floor in the debate over a bill granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Republican Sen. Glenn Gruenhagen reminded the Senate the reason the law was changed 20 years ago was in response to terrorists using state identifications to board the airplanes used in the 9/11 attacks. Gruenhagen asked the authors of the bill what will prevent terrorists from repeating this sequence, especially knowing the REAL ID provisions will not be in effect for another 18 months. Fateh failed to address Gruenhagen’s question but did use it to launch into an attack on the entire Republican caucus.

He began his remarks with the premise that, “Our immigrant community are not here to break the law.” That may be true in the sense that many immigrants don’t come to Minnesota for the purpose of committing crime, but Democrats have to stop ignoring the original crime committed by immigrants when they cross the border and jump the line on others trying to gain citizenship the right way.

But that was just the warm-up. Fateh adopted a “how dare you” tone and took it to another level with his next comments:

We heard them being called terrorists, we heard them being called drug dealers, we heard a lot of insults. We heard that they are a threat to our national security. And that’s a flat-out lie. You wanna know who the real threat is, Madam President? I’ll give you a hint. They don’t look like our chief author. They don’t look like the folks up in the gallery. They don’t look like the folks out in the rotunda. They look like many of the members that sit in the front.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. According to DHS, Madam President, the greatest domestic threat facing the United States comes from, quote, racially or ethnically violent extremists specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race.

To follow Fateh’s reasoning:

  • Forget 9/11 — that’s ancient history and won’t happen again.
  • Terrorists and drug dealers are not coming across our southern border. “That’s a flat-out lie.”
  • The real threat to our country is folks that look like the Republicans who sit in the front of the Senate chamber. In other words, white people.
  • According to DHS, white supremacists are the number one threat to our country, so stop asking about illegal immigrants using a Minnesota driver’s license to commit crime.

Fateh’s speech is another example of where Democratic Party rhetoric is in 2023. The January 6th attack has replaced 911 as the most important and harmful terrorist event in our time and the real threat to our country comes from internal white supremacists, not external terrorists.

Sen. Omar Fateh has already been reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee in his short time in office and after his remarks on the Senate floor this week, the Senate should again bring him before that committee.

Senate Rule 36.2 says, “The member shall speak only to the question under debate and avoid personality.” Avoiding personality refers to straying from the topic at hand and attacking your opponents, questioning their motives, making accusations. Sen. Fateh’s remarks were as blatant a violation of this rule as you will ever hear.

Sen. Ann Rest was serving as the presiding officer during his remarks and after a day full of chastising members for pedestrian rules violations like not addressing the chair and walking in front of speakers, she ignored Fateh’s outrageous remarks and did nothing to bring order back to the Senate.

Sen. Fateh should be asked to apologize on the Senate floor for his remarks after a formal investigation by the Ethics Committee. Sen. Rest should not be allowed back in the presider’s chair until she reviews Senate rules, especially Rule 36.2.