Do you ever just get tired of hearing the same hate spewed by people? I do, which is why when I saw this biography by Ilhan Omar, with a sort of provocative title, This is What America Looks Like, I snagged it.
If the name is familiar, it’s probably because of publicity Omar got for being in opposition to President Donald Trump. But before she was a congresswoman standing up for those who didn’t have a voice in government, she’d experienced first hand what it was like to live without a voice.
Omar grew up in Somalia until war destroyed her home and she fled with her family to a refugee camp in Kenya. After several years there, they finally got approval to relocate to America, where they became citizens and struggled to fit in. Always outspoken and always a fighter, Omar grew to become a force to be reckoned with, creating her identity on her own terms and working tirelessly to build up those around her.
While I can’t say I’m up-to-date on Omar’s legislation, her biography reads very plainly. Not once did I feel like I was being persuaded or indoctrinated, as some would expect. She simply writes about how her life unfolded, the struggles she faced and how she overcame them, and how those struggles shaped her perception of what’s needed in our country. She brings a different perspective to the table, and I can’t see how that is a bad thing. Our country is ever-changing in demographics, it makes sense that everyone should have the chance to be represented by someone who understands their situations. It makes sense that government should be an accurate representation of what our country looks like.
While she may seem a little like an idealist, if nothing else this is a memoir of hard work and hope, and those are things that never go out of style.