Things That Matter

Here’s What Is So Disturbing About Seeing Conservative White Men Pretending To Assault And Choke AOC’s Cutout Picture

Since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began her career as a politician, Republicans have picked her out as a target for their hate and criticism. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t come from a traditional political background. Maybe it’s because she has loudly protested Republican policies and talking points in the past. Or maybe it’s because she’s a young Latina who won’t take any of their abuse.

Either way, AOC has received a lot of ire from conservatives and that doesn’t seem to be letting up.

The hate has continued over the weekend as Mitch McConnell supporters posted a grossly inappropriate image involving a cardboard cut out of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram.

Twitter / @emrazz

In the photo, a group of young white men surround a cardboard cut out of Representative Ocasio-Cortez. One young man is shown embracing and kissing the image of the representative while another mimics holding the Latina by the neck, choking her. The post was originally made on Instagram before it was shared onto Twitter and was captioned with the suggestive, “Break me off a piece of that.”

The pictures were taken at an event called the Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Kentucky. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was a speaker at the event. His social media team even posted their own controversial photo that involved tombstones with the names of McConnell’s political rivals. In his time as Majority Leader, McConnell has worked to oppose bipartisanship, blocking many motions that have come from Democrats in Senate and killing the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court so this is nothing new from the Senator.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez was quick to respond to the image Monday night when it began trending on Twitter.


Twitter / @aoc

“Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you,” Representative Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday night. “Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?”

It’s been well documented that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has received threats of violence, death and rape from far-right supporters and those that oppose the Democratic party. A cop in Lousiana recently got fired for threatening the representative on social media. The exposed Facebook group belonging to ICE agents also had Photoshopped pictures of Rep Ocasio-Cortez being sexually abused and harmed. So, this Instagram post is just one of many situations when conservatives have threatened violence — whether seriously or as a depraved joke — against the Latina.

McConnell’s campaign responded to the post via the Washington Post denying any relation to the young men in the picture.

Twitter / @frankthrop

Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager put out the following statement:

“These young men are not campaign staff. They’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country. Team Mitch in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning acts toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender.”

It’s important to note that these young men also attend Covington Catholic School — the same school that produced the teens who disrupted the January 2018 Native American demonstration. During that controversy, McConnell and team also defended the young men and put the blame on the media for calling attention to what they saw as a case of “boys being boys.”

The young men pictured in the Insta pic also had other disturbing props at the Fancy Farm Picnic.

Twitter / @StrangeShadows

The group also came equipped with large cardboard cutouts of Brett Kavanaugh’s face. Kavanaugh was made a Supreme Court Justice when McConnell blocked the nomination of Judge Garland despite there being major accusations of sexual assault and rape against Kavanaugh. These props are truly tasteless but make sense considering their photo with the AOC cut out.

Of course, Twitter was quick to call out the racism, misogyny, and danger that is at play with stunts like these.

Twitter / @saraialejandraa

As this post points out, images of cis white men choking a Latina is inherently racist, no matter if they were playing around or not. It’s also indicative of the misogyny that is laughed off and allowed in the Republican party. This Twitter user also suggested donating to McConnell’s opponent, Amy McGrath, for his 2020 Kentucky seat.

Speaking of McGrath, she also tweeted her condemnation for McConnell and the disturbing images that came out of the Kentucky event.

Twitter / @AmyMcGrathKY

The McConnell opponent tweeted her disbelief and her disapproval of the Senate Majority Leader’s use of death imagery in his political messaging — especially so soon after the tragedy in El Paso. We have witnessed the Republican party coyly encourage violence against progressives and then act innocently about it. It’s time to call these moments out for what they are: threats that could very well turn to brutality and death.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And ‘Roma’ Actress Yalitza Aparicio Are Working On A Project Together

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And ‘Roma’ Actress Yalitza Aparicio Are Working On A Project Together

YalitzaAparicio / Twitter

Ever since her breakout role in Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” indigenous Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio has made an effort to support the very domestic workers she played a part in representing on screen. Now the former schoolteacher is taking her role as an activist for domestic workers by fighting for the community. And with her, she’s brought on a major advocate.

In an effort to further the discussion regarding domestic worker’s rights, Aparicio has paired up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)

During a meeting set in Washington, D.C. the two women are said to have talked about the rights of domestic workers worldwide.

In a post to their respective social media pages, the two Latinas praised each other for their efforts.

“When you fight for the rights of domestic workers, it’s not only for and by those women, but also so that their children can have a better future.’ These inspiring words from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez I will hold forever in my heart,” Aparicio wrote in a post on Wednesday that was written in Spanish. “I had the honor of meeting this strong, talented and brave woman who works day after day to improve the social conditions in her country. Thanks to our meeting, we can listen to each other and share our point of view about the rights of domestic workers.”

In a tweet of her own, AOC described meeting Aparicio as an honor.

“It was an honor to meet you, @YalitzaAparicio,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a reply that was also written in Spanish. “You are an inspiration for women and workers around the world. Thank you for the conversation. Together, we fight for the rights of domestic workers.”

In 2018, Aparicio shot to fame for her role as Cleo in the Spanish-language film “Roma.”

Aparicio played the part of woman working in the household of a middle-class family in Mexico and garnered her much praise. For her role, Aparicio also earned an Oscar nomination. She has since worked to use her platform as a place to elevate the voices of indigenous peoples, domestic workers across the globe and women.

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

Things That Matter

Bernie Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying That Not ‘Everything Is Bad’ In Castro’s Cuba

berniesanders / Instagram

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is once again touting what he sees as the benefits of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The Vermont senator first made comments praising parts of Castro’s Cuba in a 1985 interview. Now, 15 years later, Sen. Sanders is standing behind his idea that not everything is bad in Cuba in a 60 Minutes interview.

Senator Bernie Sanders is facing backlash from critics after his 60 Minutes interview because of his comments on Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

In the 1980s, Sen. Sanders was caught on camera more than once praising parts of the Castro regime in Cuba. He points to the health care and education systems as parts of the government that works for Cuban people. The comments resurfaced in 2019 and caused a backlash against the senator in the Cuban diaspora, whose pains are still fresh from the overthrow of the government.

Now, in a “60 Minutes” interview, the Vermont senator has doubled down on his comments that some of the Cuban government is good.

Anderson Cooper – “What is Democratic Socialism?”

Bernie Sanders – “When Donald Trump was a private businessman in New York, he got $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing. That’s called Socialism. What Democratic Socialism is about is saying, ‘Let’s use the federal government to protect the interest of working families.’”

BS – “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s simply unfair to say that everything is bad. You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”

AC – “There were a lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba.”

BS – “That’s right and we condemn that. Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear. I do not think that Kim Jung Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”

The comments have sparked some backlash on social media from Cubans and Cuban-Americans.

Credit: @marcorubio / Twitter

Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, has been a vocal opponent of Socialism. He has used the crisis in Venezuela to solidify his point about the dangers of the government system he believes Sen. Sanders wants to start in the U.S. Yet, Sen. Sanders’s point is not that the Castro regime is good. In the “60 Minutes” interview, the senator made it clear that he does not support the Castro regime and the brutality it caused for the Cuban people. However, he does believe there are things we can learn from the Caribbean island about offering health care and education to the population.

One point of contention with the senator’s comments is that the Cuban people didn’t fight back because of the new programs.

Credit: @DebbieforFL / Twitter

The Castro regime is known to have oppressed dissidents and political opponents. Speaking out against the authoritarian regime was not safe. People were jailed, killed, and exiled for standing up to Castro’s rise to power. Families fled the island and settled around the world to escape what they saw as a justifiable threat to their lives and sovereignty.

Some people are sharing personal stories of their families’ treatment under the Castro regime.

Credit: @GiancarloSopo / Twitter

The generational trauma created by the Castro regime is still felt today. Some people used Sen. Sanders’s comments as a chance to tell a fuller story of the government some have praised for their social services.

A clip of President Barack Obama speaking on the same social issues in Cuba is also circulating.

President Obama worked tirelessly to reopen relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He was the first sitting president to visit the island when it was announced that diplomatic ties were reopened between the two countries. Part of being able to open those relations was eliminating the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban nationals to stay in the U.S. after migrating. This allowed Cubans to be deported back to Cuba, something that hadn’t happened since Cubans first started to flee their homeland. In response, Cubans illegally in the U.S. have been subjected to ICE raids and detention for the first time because of President Donald Trump’s increasing escalation against the immigrant community.

There is a lot of concern from Democratic supporters that the comment could cost the party Florida in the general election if Sen. Sanders is nominated.

Credit: @IvanBrandon / Twitter

The Cuban and Cuban-American population in Florida is a key demographic to win the state in general elections. His comments cherry-picking what is and is not good about the Cuban government is having a resonating effect in Florida. Cuban Democrats and Republicans in the state are untied in rebuking the senator’s comments as glossing over the true victimization and terror millions faced.

READ: Bernie Sanders Praises Fidel Castro And His Revolution In Cuba During Resurfaced Interview From 1985