New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out her colleagues in Congress on their double standards on Tuesday regarding Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar. “One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan,” tweeted Ocasio-Cortez, “is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP [Republican] member yelled ‘Go back to Puerto Rico!’ on the floor).”
In an impassioned Twitter thread, the Congresswoman for NY-14 (Bronx and Queens) went on to ask where the resolutions were against homophobia, anti-blackness and xenophobia. She cited one example when one member said he would “send [Former President Barack] Obama back to Kenya.”
Ocasio-Cortez explained that “‘Calling out’ is one of the measures of last resort, not 1st or 2nd resort. We do it when repeated attempts to ‘call in’ are disrespected or ignored. And I believe that Ilhan, in her statement a few weeks ago, has demonstrated a willingness to listen [and] work [with] impacted communities.”
She pointed out that if resolutions were called on sexist statements, then a “good chunk” of Congress would be gone. Ocasio-Cortez then went on to retweet Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who said she was “honoured” to serve with Omar, and described the attacks on her as “ugly”.
Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez found herself in hot water herself last year after tweeting on 14 May that the killing by Israeli occupation forces of 60 Palestinian protesters taking part in the Great March of Return demonstrations was “a massacre”, and she called on the Democrats not to be silent on the issue, upsetting her predecessor, former Representative Joe Crowley.
She has previously said that her Puerto Rican roots have helped her relate to the Palestinian protesters.
Ocasio-Cortez’s latest tweet in support of Ilhan Omar comes as Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren also spoke out and backed the Minnesota Congresswoman. They expressed their concerns that targeting her was a means of stifling free speech on Israel.