Ocasio-Cortez: There are ‘rules’ against what happened to Crockett

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) defended her response to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after the Georgia Republican accused Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) of being unable to read because her eyelashes were too long in a House Oversight Committee hearing last month.

In an interview on the podcast “On with Kara Swisher,” Ocasio-Cortez said she understands some may not be happy with the incident, but remains adamant that Crockett deserved to be defended.

“I completely understand folks looking at this and saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible. Look at how low we’ve sunk,’ et cetera,” she told host Kara Swisher. “And I want folks who say that to just hold a little space for what it means to be a woman of color in a body that is 70 percent male and overwhelmingly white.”

On May 16, Greene sparked a firestorm when she asked if any Democrats on the panel were employing the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who was overseeing former President Trump’s hush money trial in Manhattan.

Crockett, a first-term lawmaker, replied, “Please tell me what that has to do with Merrick Garland. Do you know what we’re here for?”

“I don’t think you know what you’re here for,” Greene responded. “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Though Crockett defended herself, asking to know if it was inappropriate to talk about “somebody’s bleach blonde bad built butch body,” Ocasio-Cortez rushed to Crockett’s defense.

The New York Democrat called Greene’s comments “disgusting” and demanded they be struck from the record. She also pressed Greene to apologize for attacking Crockett’s physical appearance, which Greene refused to do.

“There are rules against what happened against Jasmine Crockett,” Ocasio-Cortez said Thursday. “There are rules against this, and the rules exist for everybody, but you. They apply to everyone else’s protection but you.”

“And so women of color who are often I think looked at or deemed unprofessional, et cetera, in moments like these, it’s because you have to choose between accepting the indignity of your treatment because the institution will not protect you, or standing up for yourself and being smeared because standing up for yourself is then equated with the original offense,” she added.

Crockett and others pointed to the racial undertones of Greene’s comment. The Texas Democrat is the only Black woman on the committee, a point Ocasio-Cortez highlighted.

“It is not a coincidence that she was the one that was specifically picked out for that, and especially for her as a freshman,” she said. “What I saw happen to her, I came to a place where I ate it constantly in my freshman year. I was ridiculed, picked out by Democrats and Republicans. No one ever defended me.”

“So, while I empathize, I understand what I want people to feel in the shame is that I want them to feel the shame in the fact that there was a vote to allow this treatment,” she continued. “And I want people to feel the shame that this was allowed to happen, that the offense was allowed to happen.”

Ocasio-Cortez added that she knew it wasn’t a “great moment,” but that it was a necessary moment.

“I know that when I go home, a lot of what I hear is from Black women saying, ‘Thank you for standing up for us because no one else does, and it’s usually just us that have to stick up for each other,’” she said.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene’s selfishness and narcissism is part of what is screwing over the Republican party,” the lawmaker added. “And while it may be good for her, in a way, she is such an embodiment of their core values that they are trying to distract the public from.”

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