While speaking at the left-leaning South by Southwest Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas Saturday, socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that former President Ronald Reagan used “racist” caricatures and “pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans to screw over all working-class Americans.”
Essentially, Ocasio-Cortez called President Reagan a racist.
Ocasio-Cortez said, “One perfect example, I think a perfect example of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans in order to just screw over all working-class Americans, is Reaganism in the ’80s when he started talking about welfare queens.”
She added, “So you think about this image; welfare queens and what he was really trying to talk about was he was painting this photo, he was painting this like really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing that were ‘sucks’ on our country.
And it’s this whole tragedy of the commons type of thinking where it’s like because these one, this one specific group of people, that you are already kind of subconsciously primed to resent, you give them a different reason that’s not explicit racism but still rooted in a racist caricature. It gives people a logical reason, a ‘logical’ reason to say, ‘oh yeah, no, toss out the whole social safety net.’”
Ocasio-Cortez also blasted moderate political policies, saying they only preserve the status quo.
“All of these things sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing. And this idea of like 10 percent better from garbage shouldn’t be what we settle for. … It feels like moderate is not a stance, it’s just an attitude towards life,” she added, shrugging her shoulders.
“It’s just an attitude towards life of, like, ‘meh,’” she said. “We’ve become so cynical, that we view ‘meh,’ or ‘eh’ — we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when … the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions, and the ‘meh’ is just worshiped now, for what?”
The 29-year-old freshman lawmaker also defended herself from critics who claim her brand of socialism will enable the government to take over private companies.
Ocasio-Cortez said it’s really the opposite.
“We should be scared right now because corporations have taken over our government,” she told Briahna Gray, an editor for the Intercept, during the interview.
Ocasio-Cortez was referring to “redlining,” which dates back to the 1930s and has been linked to the federal government-backed Home Owners’ Loan Corporation.
The discriminatory and illegal practice made whole neighborhoods off-limits by not offering mortgage loans or by not showing properties to minorities.
Lenders sometimes drew red lines around a neighborhood on a map to mark them as segregated.
FDR’s New Deal during 1933 and 1936 created a series of public work projects, financial reforms and regulations to help the US recover from the Great Depression, the New York Post reported.