Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Clapped Back Hard At This Tweet About How She Grew Up
There's a young politician on the scene who might be changing the face of politics: her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and she just beat out ten-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-New York) in the Democratic primary for New York's 14th Congressional District on June 26. Of course not everyone was so happy at her win, but thankfully she knows how to stand up for herself. Clearly, because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back hard at this tweet from a conservative TV host about how she grew up and totally schooled him.
The conservative host of Newsmax's "America Talks Live," John Cardillo, tweeted a picture of Ocasio-Cortez’s childhood home in Yorktown Heights in New York's Westchester County. He claimed she lived there until she attended Brown University. He wrote in his July 1 tweet,
This is the Yorktown Heights (very nice area) home @Ocasio2018 grew up in before going off to Ivy League Brown University. A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling.
Ocasio-Cortez, at just 28 years old, took down a career politician, so there was no way that she was going to let a TV host push her around. Ocasio-Cortez replied to Cardillo's tweet and totally checked him — with actual facts.
Ocasio-Cortez replied that she actually attended Boston University, not Brown or any other Ivy League institution. "Hey John," she wrote. "1. I didn’t go to Brown or the Ivy League. I went to BU. Try Google." She added that he was right that Yorktown Heights was a nice place to grow up in — but that her family had to work very hard and sacrifice a lot because the "zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity." She tweeted,
2. It is nice. Growing up, it was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity.
But Ocasio-Cortez wasn't done with Cardillo just yet. She laid into him one more time and said that her background is what got her to this point. By him trying to tear it all down, it just means he's scared of the power she wields. Ocasio-Cortez wrote,
3. Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.
You think that after the reckoning Ocasio-Cortez gave Cardillo on Twitter, he'd apologize and back off. But no, Cardillo just had to respond in quite the childish manner. He admitted that he got the Brown information wrong but added that either way, "you're not a girl from the Bronx." He wrote,
Earlier version of this story misidentified your alma mater as Brown @Ocasio2018. I stand corrected. That said, you’re not a 'girl from the Bronx.'
Cardillo also included a link to a Daily Mail article about questions over Ocasio-Cortez's "working class" background. She was born and currently lives in the Bronx, but moved to Yorktown Heights when she was a little girl. Per the biography on her campaign website, the bad state of the public schools accessible to her in the Bronx led her working-class parents to move her to Yorktown Heights, where she could attend the much better public school — something her campaign site says gave her an early taste of income inequality and how "the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny." In the meantime, members of her family remained in the Bronx, and her site credits the 40 minute commute between the Bronx and her school as shaping her life.
From his tweet and sharing that Daily Mail article, Cardillo was trying to discredit her as a "working class" candidate, but it might have just backfired. The the fact of the matter is that there are working class people and even poor people who live in nice neighborhoods, and the fact that she grew up in Yorktown Heights does not mean that Ocasio-Cortez wasn't part of a working class family, and she made that very clear to him.
And the whole "you're not from the Bronx" thing? I think the saltiness of that clap back would disagree.
Ocasio-Cortez made the point to Cardillo that much of what you do or where you go in life is a product of the zip code you were born into, and her mother had to work very hard to try and change those circumstances. In a June 27 interview with The New York Times Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that she's running for the communities she feels have been sidelined by the Democratic Party, the communities that she comes from: working class communities and communities of color. She said,
What I see is that the Democratic Party takes working class communities for granted, they take people of color for granted and they just assume that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping these proposals are.
Now that she is closer to a seat in New York 14, Ocasio-Cortez can continue her work of making sure that whether you're born in the Bronx or Yorktown, the world is your oyster.