July 12, 2019
On Thursday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said that Pelosi was “singling out” women of color by attacking her and her freshman colleagues.
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “But the persistent singling out… it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful… the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
“It’s really just pointing out the pattern, right?” Ocasio-Cortez said to reporters on Capitol Hill. “We’re not talking about just progressives, it’s singling out four individuals. And knowing the media environment that we’re operating in, knowing the amount of death threats that we get, knowing the amount of concentration of attention, I think it’s just worth asking why.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments follow a tweet made by her chief of staff in which he compared moderate Democrats to southern segregationists.
Representative William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) called those making such claims against the House speaker and fellow Democrats “ignorant” of racial history. “How dare they try to play the race card at this point,” he said. “It shows the weakness of their argument. It’s damaging to this party and the integral workings of the Democratic Party.”
Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.) said that it was “a little too far” to make such statements. “We must all work together, pull together for the country’s good,” said Lewis. The great majority of the caucus membership tends to work together to get along. We need to go forward, not backward.”
When asked if she believed Pelosi held any racial animus, Ocasio-Cortez said, “No, no, absolutely not. Absolutely not.”
When reporters asked Pelosi about Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, the speaker said, “We respect the value of every member of our caucus. The diversity of it all is a wonderful thing.”
“How they’re interpreting and carrying it to another place is up to them, but I’m not going to be discussing it any further.”
– MK. II