Twitter users side with either Ilhan Omar or Trump as hashtag warfare erupts

Yahoo Lifestyle

President Donald Trump’s fiery tirade against “The Squad” of progressive Democratic congresswomen, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, has erupted into total Twitter warfare, complete with competing trending hashtags: #IStandWithIlhan and #IStandwithPresTrump.

Supporters of President Donald Trump and Rep. Ilhan Omar are feuding on Twitter with competing hashtags. (Photos: Getty Images)
Supporters of President Donald Trump and Rep. Ilhan Omar are feuding on Twitter with competing hashtags. (Photos: Getty Images)

First came #IStandWithIlhan, a response to the crowd at a Trump rally in Greenville, N.C., erupting into fiery chants of “send her back” and “traitor!” which were directed at the black Muslim House member (although Trump has since attempted to publicly distance himself from the first phrase). That’s when celebrities, fellow politicians and plenty of others — 119K and counting — used the hashtag to come to Omar’s defense.

Supporters of Omar rebuked the “dangerous” talk and “white supremacist hatred” directed at her, thrusting #IStandWithIlhan to the top of the U.S. trending hashtag list on Twitter.

It didn’t take long, though, for Trump’s Twitter base to quickly retaliate with its own hashtag: #IStandwithPresTrump.

Trump’s supporters denied that the calls to “send” Omar back were racist. Instead, they argued that the same message would be said to anyone who disrespected America, its flag or its president, with many doubling down by using #SendHerBack, which also began to quickly gain traction.

At one point, the #IStandWithPresTrump hashtag broke into the top five U.S. trending list. However, the wave of #IStandWithPresTrump tweets are not all messages of genuine support. Instead, a portion were used ironically or to show disdain for Trump’s supporters online.

As far as the Twitterverse goes, Omar appears to be winning the hashtag tug-of-war, with #IStandWithIlhan remaining in the No.1 U.S. hashtag spot for much of the morning.

“In a universe where Twitter trends ruled the land, 80% of US is #IStandWithIlhanOmar and 20% is #IStandWithTrump,” one observer tweeted.

Twitter, of course, may not necessarily be representative of general public opinion. According to the Pew Research Center, its “users are younger and more likely to identify as Democrat” than U.S. adults overall, which would more possibly skew support in Omar’s favor.

Twitter users are also likely to have a specific stance on social issues, according to Pew. “For instance, Twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country and to see evidence of racial and gender-based inequalities in society,” reads the report.

The current hashtag feud is the latest chapter of controversy that began with a tirade of tweets from Trump directed towards Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, leading to the rare step of the House passing a resolution to condemn his tweets.

Amidst the current hashtag war, Omar herself tweeted a response to the attacks from the crowd at Trump’s rally, with a quote from American poet Maya Angelou.

“But still, like air, I’ll rise,” she tweeted.

See more of the battling tweets below:

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

• Cardi B., Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders send messages of support for Ilhan Omar in response to 'Send her back' chants• Link to top stories on Lifestyle here

• 'Fox & Friends' co-host Brian Kilmeade defends border detention camps: 'We're not throwing them in cages'

• 'America's Day as the Racist': Billboard vandalized with anti-Trump message amid racist tweet controversy

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