Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) faced backlash on social media for the second day in a row over racially charged remarks she made.
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks started on Friday when she defended Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) false insinuation at a House Oversight Committee hearing that Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was a racist for bringing a black Trump official to the hearing to combat the notion that President Donald Trump was a racist.
“Just because someone has a person of color, a black person, working for them does not mean they aren’t racist and … the fact someone would actually use a prop, a black woman in this chamber, in this committee is alone racist in itself,” Tlaib said, clearly talking about Meadows.
Ocasio-Cortez rushed to Tlaib’s defense, tweeting: “Total bravery from @RashidaTlaib as she reminds the nation that tokenism *is* racism.”
The tweet from the 29-year-old, which ignited a firestorm online with many calling her statement racist, carried over to Saturday when she was forced to respond to some of the criticism she received.
“We have Black staff,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “We don’t parade them around to show the world how diverse our team is, and use that as some kind of evidence of the absence of racism. That’s what tokenism is.”
As was the case on Friday, Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet on Saturday elicited criticism online with many noting the fact that she was parading around her black staff on Twitter to her millions of followers.
“This woman just literally did the exact opposite of what she claims in her tweet and doesn’t realize it! ‘We have black staff. We don’t parade them around’. (As she parades them on twitter),” Derek Schwartz tweeted. “Lord help us all.”
“So if someone doesn’t have any/enough black people on their staff, that’s racist,” Allie Beth Stuckey tweeted. “But if someone does have black people on their staff and says that they do, that’s also racist. Thank you for making this perfectly clear.”
“Thanks for getting back. Its disappointing rhetoric to suggest people are paraded and belittle hiring of Black people as tokenism,” Charles Payne tweeted. “Moreover, questioning their accomplishments is even more problematic. You get that. BTW some of the Black folks on your staff my want to be visible.”
“I need clearer rules,” Scott Adams tweeted. “Can I tweet that my staff is diverse so long as I am not parading it around? And hypothetically, if I have a black friend — and I’m not saying I do, as I understand that would be racist tokenism — should I keep it to myself?”
“Saying you have African Americans on your staff as a defense… Is in itself a form of tokenism,” Pradheep J. Shanker tweeted.
“Ackshully the new racism is not singling out people based on their race and congratulating them for not being white,” Ashley Rae Goldenberg. “Which is why everyone is obsessed with pointing out Ocasio-Cortez’s ethnic background, including herself.”