Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was accused of making patronizing and racist remarks on Friday when she used an accent to tell an audience of predominately black people that there is nothing wrong with them serving other people in low skilled jobs for their careers.
“This is what organizing looks like, this is what building power looks like, this is what changing the country looks like,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a southern accent while speaking at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York City.
“I’m proud to be a bartender, ain’t nothin wrong with that,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “There’s nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy. There is nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbors will eat. There is nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments immediately sparked outrage as many accused her of racism, noting that her accent while speaking to black people was similar to how two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would speak to black people — which was widely condemned as racist.
Here are some of the responses that Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks elicited on social media:
“This is the end for me. How dare @AOC get up there and disrespect the intelligence and integrity of black folks like that,” Brandon Tatum tweeted. “I literally could not watch this all the way through the first 5 attempts. These Democrats are pimping out black neighborhood in plane view!! Dang shame”
“This embarrassment of a woman @AOC really got up there and did that raggedy accent in front of all those black people,” One Twitter user posted. “PSA: Not all black people are improper. Not all black people fold clothes and drive buses.”
Another Twitter user tweeted: “She trying too hard. The accent is so obvious ‘Ain’t nun wrong with dat’ Every African-American does not talk in this way. I guess you’re trying to ‘win the black vote.’ This ain’t it, @AOC”
Fox News’ Lawrence Jones III said Ocasio-Cortez was “Hillary 2.0.”
Fox News’ Lisa Boothe also noted Ocasio-Cortez’s patronizing remarks were similar to Clinton’s remarks.
The Blaze’s Jason Howerton: “.@AOC is literally me in middle school trying to talk with an accent in a shameless attempt to earn approval of the cool black guys.”
News Max’s John Cardillo: “In case you’re wondering, this is what blackface sounds like.”
Cam Edwards: “Remember this clip. It’ll be fine for the Left now, but when they have no more use for AOC it’ll be trotted out as evidence of her elitism and condescending attitude towards those with other ethnicities.”
Rita Panahi: “‘Ain’t nothin wrong with dat!’ She’s terrible. Bless.”
Adelle Malka Nazarian: “The Justice Democrats have trained her well. Except, is it just me or do most people today consider it racist to mimick the accent of a certain community when you’re not technically “self-identifying” as part of that community?? #AskingForAFriend”
Ocasio-Cortez later said that her “radical” far-left agenda was not “crazy.”
“That is the moral, political, and economic underpinning of making bold investments and dignified jobs, because that is the necessary plan to fix the pipes in Flint and clean the air in the South Bronx and create unionized energy jobs for transitioning workers in Appalachia and West Virginia, for single-payer health care and Medicare-for-all and tuition-free public colleges and universities to prepare our nation for the future, and for the end of mass incarceration, the war on drugs, examining and pursuing an agenda of reparations, and fixing the opioid crisis too,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
This report has been updated to include additional online reaction.