Things That Matter

Here Is Some Inspiration For Your Own AOC-Themed Graduation Cap For The Powerful Chingonas Graduating

Graduation season is here and you might need some inspiration and reassurance from role models you can relate to. We seriously can’t think of a politician that has inspired the Latino community in the United States, and women in every corner of the world, more than Congresswoman Alexandria “The Great”. This amazing young woman from the Bronx of Puerto Rican heritage has made her short but impactful political career out of pure intelligence and ability to debate and stand by her values, which are based on the betterment of communities and in leaving no one behind in the national agenda (this includes, of course, being proactive when it comes to the environment and the many threats it is currently facing). 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes in community and in holding the powerful accountable for their wrongdoings. This has certainly caused quite a stir in the echelons of Washington power and has inspired a multitude of jovencitos who want to follow on her steps. Alexandria has a BA from Boston University, she graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, majoring in international relations and economics. So when old white dudes try to mansplain her in Congress… well… they simply can’t. She is academic at heart, so she can come back with facts and logical argumentation. ESO ES TODO, AOC! We can’t wait to see where her political career will lead her: maybe a presidential run in the future? Who knows, so far the sky has been the only limit for this rising star of the Democratic Party. 

It is no surprise, then, that in this graduation season AOC has inspired students. Some might even honor her in their graduation caps! There are some pretty cool designs that need to be showcased.

 If you are graduation soon you might even get some inspo here! You will need to get creative, visit the crafts shop and maybe watch one or two YouTube tutorials, but we are sure you will do a fantastic job. You can even share the results on our social media channels! 

The first rule of politics: subvert the narrative!

Credit: mockup-a2c127da_300x300.jpg. Digital image. I am the 45th

AOC has been demonized by some Republicans that think she stands against their ideals. This mockup MAGA hat sends a powerful message and is just so creative. Maybe a nice ironic touch to your graduation cap? 

Alex from the block!

Credit: notorious_aoc_trucker_hat-r4bb5d3c401b04efaab4499dd894f0113_eahwj_8byvr_307. Digital image. Zazzle

We love how AOC represents young urban cultures. This design merges the iconic Notorious B.I.G with our Congresswoman. This would be an amazing design to wear on top of your cap. 

Love is in the air

Credit:i_heart_aoc_i_love_a_o_c_trucker_hat-r5d661f4ec5ec4a10a7a93514c9b2d67b_eahzg_8byvr_307. Digital image. Zazzle

A simple I LOVE YOU goes a long way. Young female graduates across the country could make a powerful statement throwing this design into the air at the end of their ceremony. Felicidades!

Alex the magnificent superhero

Credit: aoc3-662×1024. Digital image. artnet News

We wonder if there is any other seating member of Congress who has their own comic book. Why not copy the image of AOC slaying the elephant and making the donkey second guess his options and make it grace the top of your hat? The times they are a’ changing! 

Latina and iconic

Credit: Instagram. DwkRyQYUcAATOgV.jpg. Digital image. UX Triggers

We love the simplicity of this design. Bold colors. We love the Brown beauty in AOC’s face! Get your paint ready and stamp this on top of your cap. 

Barack was HOPE, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez means change

Credit: Instagram. flat,550×550,075,f.u6 (1). Digital image. Red Bubble

This iconic style was made famous during the 2008 presidential campaign. If Obama was all about hope, AOC is all about change: change in the system, in how minorities are perceived, in how women can voice their concerns in the topmost spheres of political power. Graduation is also synonym with a big change in your life, so why not matar dos pajaros de un tiroand use this super powerful design. 

Or perhaps this bolder option?

Credit: 3-reasons-Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez-is-the-GOPs-favorite-target. Digital image. Noq Report

Nos encanta the look on her face: looking defiantly into the future. It is that attitude that has led her to political success even if she is under-30, and it is the attitude you will need as you step into the workplace post-graduation. A cambiar el mundo. 

Nuestro origen, nuestra identidad

Credit: 3908517_0 (1). Digital image. Tee Public

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been quite vocal about the many ways in which she is proud of her indigenous and Black heritage. We love this image that reminds us both of urban cultures and street art, and of the bold, in-your-face aesthetics of boricua art. It is somewhat easy to copy, so get your hands dirty and creative and see how this looks on your cap. It will certainly get tons of attention. 

What about this design, but with your university’s colors? 

Credit: flat,550×550,075,f.u2. Digital image. Red Bubble

This design is simple and you can even order a print online if you wish. You can adapt the yellow and use your alma mater’s colors. The thing about AOC is that her success story resonates with so many college students: she bartended and worked her butt off to get where she is. 

She is an amazing nerd, and we know it

Credit: 24141_5c9bc62ded8039.00600515_AOC.enamelpin.front_cfec2e4e-7efa-430d-b2bd-3d979f4e681d_1000x. Digital image. raygunsite.com

We love the simplicity of this, and it could be totally transferrable to a graduation cap design. AOC has created a great presence in Congress: we are sure that many have found themselves temblando de miedo at the sight of her power suit and her glasses. They know they are in for a true old-fashioned grilling. You better get your facts straight before you confront her! 

Giving out Frida vibes

Credit: d157d8a096481407a26b23b1c3b4edfd. Digital image. Pinterest

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Frida Kahlo are both icons of Latina feminine identity: smart, creative, idealistic and mujeres hechas y derechas. We love this floral portrait of AOC that gives us all the Frida vibes! 

From the street to your cap!

Credit: aoc.jpg. Digital image. Secret NYC

This mural popped up in the Lower East Side and we think it is a design you could copy with pastel colors or chalk on your cap. Simple, yet dignified, just like our representante en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos

A few strokes of the brush will do

Credit: 055ab35c60aa4f9a5c2652c7bb0648d3 (1). Digital image. Pinterest

This will do…. you can even get your mami to embroider this image if she has time and is willing! 

We are totally in awe of this amazing inspirational quote

Credit: alexandria-ocasio-cortez-rick-frausto-fine-art-original-drawing. Digital image. Rick Fausto.

What a quote. AOC has been the target of vicious, sexist and racist remarks ever since she made her appearance in the political scene. She is an example: es valiente y persistente, the qualities you will need as a graduate. May the force of proud Latinos and proud mujerones like AOC be with you, regardless of your age, ethnicity or gender. 

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After Haters Came For The Harry Styles Vogue Cover, AOC Is Rushing To His Defense

Entertainment

After Haters Came For The Harry Styles Vogue Cover, AOC Is Rushing To His Defense

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Few people have faced as much criticism for such ridiculous things as has Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s even come under fire herself for a magazine cover. So it made sense when she reached out to Harry Styles over the weekend to tell him not to worry about the controversy over his recent Vogue cover.

AOC just recently faced a similar situation, when she received backlash over an expensive loaner suit she wore on the cover of Vanity Fair. So she was speaking from experience when she took to her Instagram Stories to take questions from her followers and offer up her take on all the brewing drama over Harry in a dress on the cover of Vogue.

Harry Styles appeared in Vogue while wearing a dress and the Internet took notice.

It was just week that the world was blessed with another history-making Vogue cover. For the first time ever in the magazine’s 127 year history, the cover featured a solo male. And it wasn’t just any male…it was pop star Harry Styles.

Inside the magazine, we were given more incredible images of Harry Styles in a big dress and, of course, controversy ensued. The pop star had just become the first man ever to cover Vogue all on his own, styled in a Gucci gown and shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell for the occasion. The accompanying profile discussed Harry’s love of clothing and general disregard for gendering garments.

Overall, the response seemed positive – with many celebrating his embrace of a more fluid future and the production of the images. But many conservative voices came out against the shoot, with firebrand Candace Owens taking the chance to complain about the cultural demise of “manly men.”

Now, even New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has waded into the fray. For the record, she thinks he looks hot.

But Rep. AOC was quick to defend the singer and assured him that “it looked bomb.”

Having faced her own drama related to magazine covers, AOC can be considered a bit of an expert on the matter. So it was no surprise when she took to her Instagram Stories over the weekend and spoke up about the Styles’ Vogue drama.

Her Instagram followers got right to the point: “What do you think abt Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue?” To which the Congresswoman replied, per Harper’s Bazaar: “It looks wonderful. The masculine and the feminine elements are balanced beautifully — the hair and jacket styling give me James Dean vibes too.”

“Some people are mad at it bc some folks are very sensitive to examining and exploring gender roles in society. Perhaps for some people it provokes some anger or insecurity around masculinity/femininity/etc. If it does, then maybe that’s part of the point. Sit with that reaction and think about it, examine it, explore it, engage it, and grow with it,” she added.

She then went a little deeper and examined the meaning behind creativity and art, asking “What’s the point of creating things if they don’t make people think? Or feel or reflect? Especially as an artist or creative? Who wants to see the same things all the time? And never explore their assumptions?”

“Anyways it looks bomb so,” she concluded with a shrug emoji. 

A lot of other celebs, and Harry’s mum, agreed with AOC, with everyone from Sara Bareilles to Olivia Wilde, Elijah Wood, Kathy Griffin and others posting praise for the singer for once again pointing out that strictly defined, traditional gender roles are merely a social construct.

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Student Loan Debt Relief Is Trending But What Can We Expect From An Incoming Biden Administration?

Things That Matter

Student Loan Debt Relief Is Trending But What Can We Expect From An Incoming Biden Administration?

Salwan Georges / Getty Images

We still have over two months until President-Elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20, 2021. However, that hasn’t prevented people and pundits from discussing what needs to change (and how quickly) once he’s sworn in.

Obviously, the new president will have a lot on his plate. Thanks to an unprecedented four years under a Trump Administration which has largely gutted several government agencies and enacted dangerous policies for Americans, Biden will have to act quickly and decisively.

One possible agenda item for Biden’s first days in office involves the student loan debt crisis. Currently, our collective student loan debt stands at $1.7 trillion (the second largest debt behind mortgages), so it’s no surprise that the Biden team are looking to address the crisis.

Biden signals he’s open to student loan debt relief but is it enough?

During a Monday press conference, President-Elect Biden confirmed his support for forgiving some student debt “immediately.”

He repeated his support for a provision passed as part of the HEROES Act, which the Democratic-controlled House updated on Oct. 1. The provision calls for the federal government to pay off up to $10,000 in private, nonfederal student loans for “economically distressed” borrowers. Biden specifically highlighted “people … having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent,” and said the debt relief “should be done immediately.”

Student debt forgiveness was a major campaign plank of some of his more progressive rivals for the Democratic nomination, but it remains controversial even among some Democrats. 

However, many point to it as a plan he can execute quickly and on his own. Attorneys at a Harvard legal clinic argue that the power to cancel federal student loan debt rests with the president and his or her education secretary, since it’s the Education Department that actually originates these loans. That means it can be done regardless of who controls the Senate without passing any new laws.

According to many experts, canceling student debt could have a major positive impact on the economy.

Credit: Tom Williams / Getty Images

Although it sounds like forgiving student load debt would be an easy move, some are asking should it be done? Most economists agree that canceling student debt will boost the economy, freeing up younger people to start businesses, buy homes and even start families. 

In fact, Elizabeth Warren, in her presidential campaign proposal, cited arguments that debt forgiveness would reduce the racial wealth gap, reverse rural brain drain and allow more people to complete their educations.

Activist groups such as the Debt Collective go further, arguing that student debt is wrong in principle. “We must return education to the status of a public good,” the organization says on its website.

Progressives like AOC and ‘The Squad’ are pressuring Biden to expand his plan.

The Squad (the nickname given to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) have strongly supported wiping $30,000 off student loan debts, which they outlined in their Student Debt Emergency Relief Act in March.

The bill aims to provide immediate monthly payment relief to those who have taken out federal student loans and crucially prevent those with student debts from having to make involuntary payments during the coronavirus pandemic.

And in response to many who are against the idea, AOC had the perfect clap back. In a tweet on Tuesday, she dismissed arguments against canceling hefty debts accrued in further education.

“‘Things were bad for me, so they should stay bad for everyone else’ is not a good argument against debt cancellation – student, medical, or otherwise. #CancelStudentDebt,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley further contributed to the debate, adding: “Student debt cancelation will ensure an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19, jumpstart our economy & close the racial wealth gap. One more thing,” she said.

But why are so many others so upset about canceling student debt?

Many opposed to canceling student debt claim that it would create resentment in those who spent a long time paying off their own college debts. The argument goes that they had to sacrifice and suffer and it wouldn’t be fair that current and future college grads might not have to sacrifice and suffer in the same way.

Other critics of debt forgiveness state that a bailout will simply redistribute the debt to other Americans, and will largely benefit those who can afford to go to college, disproportionately helping a well-off segment of society at the expense of the taxpayer. 

Something those people should keep in mind, though, is that their experience of massive student loan debt is not one shared by every generation of students. From 1988 to 2018, the cost of college increased by 213%. Wages, unsurprisingly, did not increase by 213% in that period — in fact, they’ve pretty much remained stagnant since the 1970s.

Perhaps most importantly, canceling student debt doesn’t negatively affect those who’ve already paid off their student loans. Insisting that other people pay off their loans in full, no matter how much of a hardship, is demanding suffering for the sake of suffering. 

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