AOC Is A Hypocrite When It Comes to Violence – As House Republicans battled it out over who should become the next House Speaker, progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) took a shot at the GOP in an effort to play down her own radical views.
Speaking to the newspaper The Independent, the New York Democrat accused Republicans of being “insurrectionists,” seemingly ignoring the widespread, Democrat-endorsed violence that caused billions of dollars in damage across hundreds of American cities in 2020.
“I think, whether you’re Democrat, Republican or independent, what this whole episode really indicates and shows us is, again, just how bad faith and … substance-less the argument and accusation is that progressives are, are just as bad as, as these insurrectionists Republicans,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
AOC: Is She Being Honest?
Ocasio-Cortez’s suggestion that Republicans who don’t support McCarthy becoming the next speaker are “insurrectionists” was either a mistake or made in bad faith.
The term “insurrection” is widely understood to refer to a violent act of revolt or an uprising against a government or authority.
That could certainly describe the actions of some during the January 6 protests in 2021, though importantly, it does not describe the actions of all protesters or speakers at the rally that day.
This is an important distinction; if we don’t understand all the facts, then it’s impossible to make judgments like AOC did during her interview with The Independent.
Former President Donald Trump and some Republican members of the House attended a peaceful rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. Unrest arose when a faction of those protesters broke away from the peaceful protest, clashed with police officers, and chose to enter the Capitol Building – a crime, and one that was neither endorsed nor encouraged by the former president or most or all Republican members of Congress.
This is simply a matter of fact, and it does not minimize the severity of what happened that day. It was, in fact, a riot. The group of protesters who foolishly chose to enter the Capitol Building could be described as attempted insurrectionists.
But, if that is true – and it is – then it has implications for Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive colleagues, too.
AOC argues that Democrats are not “just as bad” as “insurrectionist” Republicans who can’t decide who should be the next speaker (as if indecisiveness is even remotely close to committing or endorsing acts of political violence.) For this to be true, however, then progressive Democrats must never have endorsed political violence themselves. Unfortunately for AOC, the evidence shows that this is not the case.
On June 1, 2020, Kamala Harris encouraged her Twitter followers to “chip in” to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a bail fund designed to help far-left rioters pay for their bail after terrorizing American cities, destroying the livelihoods of business owners, and normalizing widespread political violence.
In a May 2020 Instagram live video, AOC appeared to endorse violence herself. Despite writing on Twitter that she wanted to see a “de-escalation” in violence, the New York congresswoman later took to Instagram where she justified the violence.
“If you’re trying to call for an end to unrest, but you don’t believe that healthcare is a human right, you aren’t willing to say ‘Black Lives Matter’… then you aren’t asking for an end to unrest. If you don’t ask for those things, all you’re asking for is the continuation of quiet oppression,” Ocasio-Cortez said at the time.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a member of AOC’s progressive “Squad,” also explicitly called for more “unrest” during an interview on MSNBC as riots continued across the country.
So, is AOC being honest? Probably not.
The New York congresswoman very loudly made it known that following the Capitol riots, she attended therapy to help her process what she experienced that day. Few would mock anybody who experienced something traumatic enough to send them to therapy, but ask yourself this: what must it be like to be a black business owner in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to have your business burned to the ground by far-left rioters, to not have insurance, and to be told that it was all in the name of racial justice?
It’s hard to take AOC seriously when she refuses to acknowledge such an obvious double standard – and refuses to say a word about the non-white Americans who suffered at the hands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa just two short years ago.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.