Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, during a discussion with her fans on Instagram Live this week, offered a harrowing and tearful account of the trauma she suffered during the Capitol Hill riots. Her description of that afternoon’s events was replete with visual demonstrations and plenty of dramatic pauses, interspersed with broadside attacks against her political opponents. She insisted that those who want to move on from the riot are acting like pathological “abusers,” revealing in the process that she herself has been a victim of sexual abuse. At another point, bizarrely, she criticized one of the Capitol police officers who protected her, condemning him for the allegedly unpleasant attitude and facial expressions he displayed as he ushered her to safety.
The media, of course, ate all of this up. We are told that her description of the riot was emotional and compelling, and that her trauma demands our attention and sympathy. Personally I would have little problem with anything she said (aside from when she smeared the men who were protecting her), if not for the fact that this woman had spent the last several months ignoring, excusing, and romanticizing the very same sort of chaos to which she in turn fell victim.
Recall her words back in May slamming those calling for an end to all the violent unrest:
If you’re trying to call for the end of unrest but you don’t believe health care is a human right; if you’re afraid to say black lives matter; if you’re too scared to call out police brutality, then you aren’t asking for an end of unrest. You are asking for injustice to continue.
Note that she said all of that only two days after a police precinct was invaded and burned to the ground in Minneapolis. She also shared an image on her Instagram page giving people advice on how to “protest safely.” This advice included things like “wear nondescript, solid colored clothing” and “cover identifying tattoos.” Protesters are exhorted to put their phone on airplane mode and not to bring anything they don’t want to be arrested with, such as knives or drugs. The point of this advice, quite explicitly, was to help people commit crimes and engage in mob violence without getting caught, or to limit their legal liability if they are.
All through the summer, her stance on rioting varied between tacit endorsement and explicit endorsement. As $2 billion in damage was inflicted in our communities, and 25 people lost their lives to the chaos, the only people AOC vocally condemned were those who wanted it all to end. She did not expect to ever come face to face with the kind of anarchy she fomented and encouraged. When it happened, she cried, and pointed fingers, and demanded from the world exactly the kind of sympathy and understanding that she herself refused to show.
What happened to her, she says now, was a great and historic crime. A tragedy of staggering proportions. As for the violence, death, and destruction visited upon Average Americans — the convenience store owners who saw their businesses incinerated, the retail employees whose places of work were ransacked, the community members who were too afraid to leave their homes because of the mayhem outside, the cancer stricken children huddling in fear in their cancer center while BLM rioters smashed the windows downstairs, the woman in Rochester who was beaten with two by fours while trying to stop looters from destroying her business, the retired police captain shot dead and left to bleed out in the street, the random pedestrians harassed and assaulted, and so on — as for all of them, AOC has never breathed a word of genuine concern or support. On the contrary, she romanticizes the cause of their suffering and excuses those who inflicted it.
In many ways, Cortez was fortunate. When the chaos came knocking on her door, she was protected. There were police on the scene to whisk her away to safety, even if their bedside manner was not to her liking. But many of the victims of rioting in our cities over the summer had no such insulation or protection. They had to try to protect themselves, and often paid a dear price for it. Remember, for example, the elderly man in Kenosha who went to stop rioters from looting the mattress store where he worked, only to be attacked, bashed over the head, and left lying on the sidewalk with a broken jaw.
AOC never spoke out on that man’s behalf, or on the behalf of other riot victims. Now she wants us to forget all of that and focus on her and her feelings and her trauma. She wants more of the same, in other words: average people forgotten and ignored, while all of the attention goes to the powerful and the famous. It’s disgraceful. And though I am sorry for what she went through, and I wish it hadn’t happened, I will continue to reserve most of my sympathy for those riot victims who suffered more than she did, and who paid a much steeper cost, and whose names we do not even know.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.