Conservatives have found a new, and seemingly made-up, criticism of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). According to the right-wing publication the Washington Examiner, which used the accusation in a headline, Ocasio-Cortez spoke with a “Southern drawl” during a speech on Friday at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Convention in New York. And her critics on Twitter piled on.
"I'm proud to be a bartender. Ain't nothing wrong that. There's nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy … There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America." — @AOC pic.twitter.com/cuSxIq4MaR
— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 5, 2019
But Ocasio-Cortez defended herself on Twitter, telling her critics to listen to her past speeches where she used a similar cadence and explained code switching: “Folks talking about my voice can step right off. Women’s March & Kavanaugh speech, same. Any kid who grew up in a distinct linguistic culture & had to learn to navigate class enviros at school/work knows what’s up. My Spanish is the same way. These conspiracy mills are [trash].”
She continued, “As much as the right wants to distort & deflect, I am from the Bronx. I act & talk like it, *especially* when I’m fired up and especially when I’m home. It is so hurtful to see how every aspect of my life is weaponized against me, yet somehow asserted as false at the same time.”
Folks talking about my voice can step right off. Women’s March & Kavanaugh speech, same.
Any kid who grew up in a distinct linguistic culture & had to learn to navigate class enviros at school/work knows what’s up.
My Spanish is the same way.
These conspiracy mills are 🚮. https://t.co/8li33Jd6DL
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 5, 2019
It’s clear that the right is obsessed with and threatened by the freshman congresswoman. And it would be laughable, but it’s reached such a fever pitch, one has to worry about the danger of it all. Demonizing her every word and now listening for style subtleties in her tone during speeches is odd to say the least. According to her enemies: she’s not intelligent, her policies are unrealistic and harmful to America, and she wants to take away our hamburgers. If all of that is true, why are they so worried? Why pay so much attention to someone so far out of touch with what is so good and precious about our country?
She certainly has their undivided attention. But so much so it has become disconcerting.