Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Victory Lap Rallies To Abolish ICE, Erase Student Loan Debt And Keep Organizing

Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz was just elected to represent New York’s 14th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the youngest woman in history, at 29 years old, to be elected to Congress. While that alone is a huge accomplishment, Ocasio-Cortez is just getting started.

In her victory speech Tuesday night, she named abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), erasure of student loan debt and healthcare for all is “what we deserve as a nation.” Meet the freshly minted politician and her policies to change the New York political landscape.

“This is the beginning.”

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

During her victory speech Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that every person who helped secure her values to victory is coming with her to Washington. Given that Ocasio-Cortez refused to accept any campaign contributions from lobbyists or special interests, she truly was buoyed by the community.

Her name on the ballot was a major upset in the primaries, when she unseated a 10-term Democratic incumbent.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She quickly was made famous nationwide for such a historic upset. Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley raised $4 million more dollars than her campaign did, and yet, her progressive views won The Bronx.

Today, she is the youngest woman in Congress.

CREDIT: Screenshot. Digital Video. NBC News. 8 November 2018.

She broke the record of Republican Elise Stefanik, who was elected in 2014 at age 30. Ocasio-Cortez will assume office on Jan. 3, 2019.

Before running for office, she was a bartender at a Mexican restaurant.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and graduated from Boston University. After college, she moved back to the Bronx and waited tables while fighting the foreclosure of her family home after her father died of lung cancer in 2008.

When she found out she was purged from the NY voter rolls and couldn’t vote in 2016, she got pissed.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Instead of doing nothing, she campaigned hard for Bernie Sanders and then traveled to Flint, Mich. and Standing Rock. Seeing people put their whole lives into their community helped Ocasio-Cortez realize that politics isn’t just for the powerful and rich.

Yet, on election day, she was thinking about the disenfranchised island of Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She has not been shy about legitimizing questions around Puerto Rico’s political status. In a tweet back in February, she pointed to the federal government’s lackluster response to starvation, hospital shut downs and delayed death tolls because “the US gov has refused to ANY discussion of PR’s political status – whether that be statehood or independence. This is the result.”

Ocasio-Cortez has a 5-step plan for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She wants to create a Marshall Plan that would move Puerto Rico past recovery mode and into thrive mode, with renewable energy systems and modern infrastructure. She intends to forgive Puerto Rico’s Wall Street debt, which has been accrued by “vulture funds” using irresponsible behavior latent in the 2008 financial crisis.

She also wants to waive and review the Jones Act, which puts an undue burden on the Puerto Rican economy that other American communities do not have to contend with. She also understands that all this injustice is embedded in deep, dark roots that will take a lot to untangle.

Ocasio-Cortez is so working class that she can’t even afford housing in Washington until she gets on Congress’s payroll in January.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that she quit her job to run for Congress, and now that she’s won, she has three months without a salary and without real funds to get an apartment.

Of course, she took the opportunity to tell it like it is in a tweet, saying, “There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead.”

Ocasio-Cortez is aiming to fight Trump to protect the LGBTQIA+ community in a major way.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

On her campaign website, Ocasio-Cortez writes that advocating for legislation like the Equality Act is more urgent than ever. She wants to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity illegal. Punta.

Included in that effort is to be inclusive when talking about universal healthcare, allowing gender-affirming healthcare to be covered.

Ocasio-Cortez was voted in to #AbolishICE and now she has the power to bring it to government.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Her campaign website states:

“It’s time to abolish ICE, clear the path to citizenship, and protect the rights of families to remain together. ICE was created in 2003, in the same suite of post-9/11 legislation as the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. Its founding was part of an unchecked expansion of executive powers that led to the widespread erosion of Americans’ civil rights.

As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States.”

She will endorse the DREAM Act.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Because America is built on immigrants. And immigrants are people who deserve due process and dignity, two things that ICE has proven over and over again incapable of doing.

ICE was founded under extrajudicial circumstances; it operates under extrajudicial circumstances–it’s gotta go.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez has gone on record adamantly opposing the existence of ICE and suggesting a replacement organization that aims for safe passage and continued protection of our borders.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to end the war in Iraq.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

She sees America for how the world sees it. On her campaign website, she writes, “America should not be in the business of destabilizing countries. While we may see ourselves as liberators, the world increasingly views us as occupiers and aggressors. Alexandria believes that we must end the “forever war” by bringing our troops home, and ending the air strikes that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism throughout the world.”

She’s going to protect the Bronx with stricter gun control laws.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

America is suffering from gun violence at a rate of 10 times higher than in other high-income countries. Why? Because America has the NRA, a gun manufacturer organization disguised as a civil rights organization.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, because the Founding Fathers had no idea what was coming.

Ocasio-Cortez is a woman who is for all women.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She’s here to decriminalize sex work, to support legislation that promotes caregiving and paid family leave, along with access to equal pay across all genders.

Ocasio-Cortez is expanding the notion of reproductive freedom beyond abortion rights, to include marginalized transgender folks.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

She believes that the government should not roll back funding to any health care center that offers birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention or reproductive health care services deemed “immoral” by any religion.

In an interview with Refinery29, she said, “If women and gender-expanding people want to run for office, we can’t knock on anybody’s door – we have to build our own house.”

We’re building this house together, New York.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to make public colleges and universities across the country tuition-free.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

In her victory speech Tuesday night, she described our entire generation’s crippling student loan debt “a ticking time bomb for our economy” and she’s right. Compared to our parents, our inflation-moderated potential for net income is 30 percent less. We need free tuition to actually get ahead in life. Thank you very much.

Her major campaign goal is to achieve healthcare for all.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She was the only candidate that didn’t accept money from pharmaceutical lobbyists or private insurance companies, meaning she has la ganas to bring single payer health care to the American people.

In Congress, she plans to endorse the Improved and Expanded Medicare for All Act.

Ocasio-Cortez won votes with her progressive policies. She also won votes by being her brutally honest self.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Caption: “Sometimes people ask me how this feels. To be honest, at least in part, I feel scared. Anxious. Overwhelmed. And that’s okay. It is a surreal experience to go from being virtually anonymous to having an enormous amount of attention overnight. Things went from feeling like folks going out of their way NOT to cover our campaign to feeling like there’s a microscope on my every word, joke, meal, outfit, or makeup decision. Every time a media event like this happens I get NERVOUS. But I also think about how I never got to see anyone like me on any magazines growing up. I never saw a version myself in leadership, or on TV, or anywhere really and think, “That could be me.”

In a district that is 70 percent POC, Ocasio-Cortez is the first woman of color to ever even try running for Congress in the district.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

We are so excited and proud to see women like us in leadership. Please turn this country around. We’re rooting for you, querida.


READ: How Latinos Made History Across The Country During The Midterm Elections

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

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.

A Border Patrol Chief Caught In That Racist Facebook Group Says She Didn’t Know It Was Racist

Things That Matter

A Border Patrol Chief Caught In That Racist Facebook Group Says She Didn’t Know It Was Racist

Zach Gibson / Stringer / Getty Images

You’ve heard of #ICEBae, now get ready to meet #ICEQueen. On July, 24th, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol, Chief Carla Provost, appeared before a Congressional subcommittee hearing in Washington DC to answer questions about her involvement in that secret, racist Facebook group that was recently exposed.

As it turns out, she was in on it too.

At the beginning of July 2019, ProPublica broke the story about a secret Facebook page made up of active and former members of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Twitter / @MarshallProj

In the group, members shared disgusting pictures, memes, and messages about government officials and the same migrant detainees they were ordered to guard. In some posts, graphic threats were made against Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress. Other reports say that one particular post was dedicated to disputing the authenticity of a photo of a drowned man, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his young daughter.

Shortly after the discovery of the Facebook group, Chief Carla Provost publicly denounced the group and its sexist and racist content. In a public statement to the press, Provost declared:

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out. Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

However, in a wild twist, we probably should have seen coming, Provost has now admitted that she was also part of the 9,500 member group. 

Twitter / @Never270

Provost testified in front of the Congressional committee that though she was a member of the group, she rarely ever logged on to the social media site. She also claimed that she immediately reported herself to an oversight division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection after she realized she was a member of the same group she had condemned just weeks ago. 

During the hearing, Provost claimed that she gave her login and password to Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility. She went on to add that she hardly ever used her Facebook account — only using it to stay in touch with friends and colleagues whom she doesn’t often see.

Recent reports had already claimed that the ICE Queen was a member of this Facebook group. However, the Border Patrol Chief did not deny or confirm her membership before yesterday’s Congressional hearing. 

The ICE Queen admitted that she only joined the group after being told that agents were talking about her. 

Twitter / @christiansarkar

According to Provost, she accepted an invitation to the group back in 2017 when it was sent by a colleague. The colleague had told the Border Patrol Chief that her agents were discussing her performance as she was then the organization’s acting chief. Provost claimed that she would periodically search her name on Facebook and read the posts that she would find. The ICE Queen further went on to explain that she never noticed any of the specific groups that the posts came from.

The Border Patrol Chief also admitted to answering one specific post in the Facebook group. The post was supposedly about a question from the TV show “Jeopardy” and she saw that her agents were talking about her. The ICE Queen says that she was the subject of a Jeopardy question and that’s why the conversation mentioned her name. 

The Border Patrol Chief still committed to her denunciation of the Facebook group and the members who participated in the sexist and racist posts.  

Twitter / @Fogfaaja

“Let me be clear, on July 1 was the first time that I saw those highly offensive and highly unacceptable posts when I saw them in the ProPublica report,” Provost told lawmakers during the session. “I am as outraged as everyone else when it comes to the statements that were made on that page.”

Despite her condemnation of those who participated in the group, the ICE Queen insisted that, for the most part, Border Patrol guards are good people. 

Twitter / @Archerlady1

When suggestions were made that this Facebook page was indicative of a racist subculture within the Border Patrol agency, Provost pushed back. 

“I would still not call it a subculture,” she insisted. “The vast majority — 99-point-whatever percent — of our men and women are good hardworking American citizens who are doing the best they can in a very difficult crisis.”

Of the about 9,500 members of the group, only 62 current members and 8 former Border patrol agents are being investigated for posts and comments made. Provost used this fact to insist on the overall good of her agency. 

“A few bad apples are not representative of the organization,” Provost said. “There are bad doctors, there are bad nurses, there are bad teachers, but we don’t vilify the entire group.”

It should never be forgotten that these other professions do not house children in cages or separate families as part of their jobs like U.S. Border Patrol workers do. These agents are being investigated for a reason and their bad rap has more than been earned. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUh_wCbaGxo

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