Putting aside whether or not Omar was truthful when she tweeted:

...the thousands of Somalis killed by the American forces that day

(in reference to the October 1993 Battle of Mogadishu)

Why did she conclude her criticism of US troops with the hashtag "#NotTodaySatan"?

  • It looks like a contemporaneous meme given that the tweet was from 2017. There are multiple reads of what she could be saying though. – hszmv Apr 25 '19 at 21:03
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    Where does the "her criticism of US troops" in the title come from? The tweet you link is concerned with correcting an incredibly racist statement. I don't see how it makes any special effort to criticize US troops. It does state that US troops kill people - but as an answer to somebody implying they didn't, you can hardly consider that "criticism". – R. Schmitz Apr 26 '19 at 11:34
  • @R.Schmitz I think it's clear that she is criticizing the number of Somalis killed. Whether she blames Clinton, or the troops actually in Somalia, or the chain of command somewhere in between, I don't know. – DavePhD Apr 26 '19 at 11:43
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    @DavePhD With all due respect, no it's not. Just saying "US troops kill so-and-so many people" is not criticism, it's a statistic. Now, "killing people" is not a good thing, but if somebody says "they killed 12 people" and I say "no, it was 14", then that's not criticism. We can consider the perspective that this one tweet is part of a bigger narrative... but then she didn't "conclude" that with NotTodaySatan. – R. Schmitz Apr 26 '19 at 11:52
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    @DavePhD "Yes, it's part of a bigger narrative." which isn't "concluded" with #NotTodaySatan - that's my point for this perspective. – R. Schmitz Apr 26 '19 at 12:21

"Not Today Satan" is a common phrase used by religious people that means "I'm not going to brought down today". While there is clearly an effort to make it out as if Rep. Omar is saying that America is Satan, that is clearly not what this phrase means.

If you look for other tweets that use that hashtag, once you scroll down past the manufactured right-wing outrage, you'll see tweets like:

work drags lol #nottodaysatan

Almost accidentally read an Endgame spoiler #NOTTODAYSATAN

When life isn't the way you hoped, you change it and make it what you need. Work is hard, but providing for myself and my husband is more important than the trivial bitches. #nottodaysatan pic.twitter.com/3i39KznNIW

when I was 14 they predicted a valve replacement at 30. Today was my annual check up, and a bitch gets to keep her valve! What’s good heart disease!? #nottodaysatan

Already know some type of blessing is on the way when the energy vampire ex pops up. Demons can smell happiness. #Nottodaysatan 🙅🏽‍♀️

No Anti-American sentiment there!

Some more evidence that this is not some sort of secret terrorist hashtag:

As for why she might have said that, the tweet you linked to is a direct reply to another tweet by @j_w_84 which I've reproduced below:

enter image description here

In that tweet, Joshua claims that the that the worst terrorist attack in Somalia was the Battle of Mogadishu where 19 Americans were killed, not the then recent terrorist attack (referenced in the original tweet by Al Franken) where 230 Somalis were killed. The only way that makes sense is if you completely devalue the lives of Somalis, both those killed in the recent terrorist attack (to say that 19 dead is worse than 230 dead) and those killed in the fighting in Mogadishu (U.S. special representative to Somalia Robert B. Oakley estimated that there were 1500-2000 civilian casualties due to the reality of fighting a pitched battle in a crowded city).

It's this casually racist attitude from Joshua, which holds that only American lives matter, that Rep. Omar is referring to: just like heart disease, boring work, or Avengers spoilers, the racist attitudes of some will not bring her down and stop the important work of fighting against it.

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    'is a common phrase' are you sure about that? It doesn't show up in Google's Ngram and it's listed by Urban Dictionary as a quote from someone on RuPaul's Drag Race. Do you have references of its use prior to that show? – JJ for Transparency and Monica Apr 25 '19 at 21:13
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    @JJJ I'm amazed I can't find any more detail, but at least anecdotally I can say I've heard that phrase often enough as far back as between 2008-2012 – Gramatik Apr 25 '19 at 21:23
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    Its seem even more curious to classify the (1993) Battle of Mogadishu as a "terrorist attack" in the first place, since it appears that the US forces (with allies) were the ones attacking. I can imagine some people being ready to call the US "terrorists", but not the same people that would count only US casualties. And if it was a terrorist attack then surely 1500-2000 is more than 230 ... – hmakholm left over Monica Apr 26 '19 at 0:10
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    @JJJ The 1999 movie Toy Story 2 contains a reference to this phrase ('Not today, Zurg') and the 1994 movie Ace Ventura contains it verbatim - it's old and well established, I'd say. – samiles Apr 26 '19 at 8:48
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    @JJJ The Toy Story quote definitely refers to that phrase, IMO, as I said, "references". And you're quite right about Ace Ventura, I was muddled with something else. There's numerous uses of it long before the Ru Paul suggestion above. – samiles Apr 26 '19 at 9:35

Probably as a humorous way of saying "you're not going to get one past me."

This seems to be a recent but widespread phrase. We can see many humorous books with this phrase in their title.

The original use was seemingly literal, mainly coming from Christians metaphorically telling Satan that he wouldn't win.

When the computers act up I speak "In the name of Jesus not today Satan.

My Book is My Story: Surrendering My Journey to the Holy Spirit (2013)


When I sense him using my rough day to steal my joy, he's crossing a line and I tell him "Not today, Satan." I even have T-shirt that says it in big, white, block letters.

The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World (2018)

However, it seems to have mutated due to overuse (e.g., people would say "Not today, Satan" when their computers acted up or they were having a bad day). While the original phrase referenced actually catching Satan trying to ruin one's life and refusing to allow this, the broad version seems to refer to catching anyone in the act and refusing to allow them to go forward, particularly in relation to not letting someone ruin one's day.

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  • was "not today Satan" still associated with Christians when she tweeted this, or had it already become secularized? – DavePhD Apr 26 '19 at 11:49
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    Check the other answer, but I'd say it had broad secular usage. Christians have still continued to use it in the Christian usage until the present day, though. – Obie 2.0 Apr 26 '19 at 11:51

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