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Nov. 14, 2023 |  By: Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Censured Michigan congresswoman says she will not be silenced


By Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the sole Palestinian-American voice in Congress, was officially reprimanded last Tuesday, but many of her colleagues say she will not stop fighting for peace.

A 234 to 188 vote of nearly all Republicans and enough Democrats sealed Tlaib's censure, a punishment proposed by Republican Congressman Rich McCormick of Georgia. Tlaib held back tears as she asserted her position.

"I can't believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable. We are human beings. Just like anyone else," she said.

Tlaib is only the 26th member of the House of Representatives to be censured since 1789. She was not asked to stand in the well as typically expected with censure.

Tlaib's House colleague Cori Bush from Missouri was by her side to defend her along with many other Democrats, all Black and brown. Bush said the House is where an elected body enslaved Black people, because they thought it was right.

"My colleagues are blatantly attempting to silence the only Palestinian American representative, but it's not surprising because this is the place where our Black and brown staff members repeatedly speak of experiencing racism and sexism, Islamophobia, get pushed off of elevators, xenophobia, and more right here in this workplace, " Bush said.

Bush added that Tlaib will be known for being a freedom fighter and a justice warrior, and called Tlaib a peacekeeper and said she is on the right side of history.