Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came up with a new excuse for the accent she used while addressing a black audience on Friday, suggesting that she had to “code switch” it because there would be “costs” associated with not doing it.
Ocasio-Cortez, who was condemned by many African-Americans for using the accent, initially claimed that those who were calling her out for the accent were trying to “distort” and “deflect” and that it was all a conspiracy theory.
The 29-year-old congresswoman — who regularly refers to those on the political Right as racists, white supremacists, and xenophobes — added that it was “so hurtful” that people would criticize her for using an accent.
Ocasio-Cortez’s claims that she used the voice during a speech about then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and at a speech at the Women’s March were quickly debunked.
On Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez quickly adopted an excuse that some of her supporters used in their defense of her, claiming that she was “code-switching.”
After initially claiming that the Right was trying to “distort” and “deflect,” Ocasio-Cortez did just that in adopting her new explanation for her behavior, as she tried to change the topic by presenting herself as a victim while talking about her hair.
“Next time you‘re told straight hair is ‘unprofessional’ & that speaking like your parents do is ‘uneducated,’ then you can complain about code-switching,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Code switching is a tool communities learn when they’re told their voice, appearance, & mannerisms are ‘unprofessional.'”
Ocasio-Cortez then suggested that there were “costs” associated with not “code-switching.”
“We see the perceived ‘costs’ to not code-switching all the time. Can’t tell you how many young people in our community don’t have the confidence they should bc they didn’t grow up learning secondary speech,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “Their talents get stifled by ‘respectability,’ despite enormous gifts.”
“The good news is that we can improve this easily w/ honest reflection,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “For ex, are certain hairstyles discouraged in your workplace? Why? Can you think of someone who didn’t advance bc of how they spoke? Why? Examine what’s deemed ‘unprofessional’ around you & adapt it to 2019.”
Remember, Ocasio-Cortez never claimed that she was “code-switching” in her initial explanation, and while some did buy into her second explanation, many did not.
Stefan Grant tweeted: “shut the f*** up. I don’t know which one of these newly-woke rented Black folks told you that bullshit was ok, but it wasn’t. You don’t f***ing speak like that, so don’t insult our intelligence. And don’t tell Black ppl about the lowly jobs ‘there ain’t nothing wrong with’.”
Derek Schwartz tweeted: “Code switching is talking one way around one group of people and another way around a different group. It’s a tool people use to fit in. It isn’t always a bad thing but in can come off as pandering or insincere in certain situations.”
Ashley StClair tweeted: “You’re still not black”
Jorden tweeted: “Code switching = still pandering. Assuming a different speech because of people who don’t speak the same as you is just suggesting they’re not intelligent enough to understand you.”
Seth Weathers tweeted: “You’re unprofessional”