WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the U.S. has made “little to no progress” on the “racial wealth gap” and “acknowledging racism is more offensive than racism itself” in the country.
She also decried “anti-blackness” within the Latino community, mentioning her own family as an example.
Ocasio-Cortez recalled a reporter asking her how she justifies accusing President Trump of “having rhetoric that inflames people’s passions when you call the wall racist.”
“And I was like, ‘what?’ But we live in a country where acknowledging racism is more offensive than racism itself,” Ocasio-Cortez said to applause at a forum on U.S. immigration policy on Monday. “What that tells me is we have a lot of work to do is what that tells me and it means, especially for our white brothers and sisters out there. Listen, that hard frustrating Thanksgiving dinner is the work, you know, it is, it’s the work.”
Ocasio-Cortez said discussing race and immigration issues with older family members is an important aspect of the work young political activists should do going forward. She argued that Trump is the “symptom of the problem” with immigration policy and race.
“You get rid of this president and our problems are not leaving and so we really need to, kind of, go back and have these understandings and for our brown folks in the room, Latino brothers and sisters, we need to have conversations about colonialism of color in our communities,” she said.
“I need to talk to my Grandmom, you know, every time a nephew or niece is born in my family there’s like inquiries as to the shade of this child and I’m like, ‘what is this?’ It is anti-blackness and even in our overall Latino communities, it’s like anti-blackness, but then there’s also like this self-denial that we have as well,” she added.