Right Wing Trolls Launch GoFundMe Campaign For AOC’s Abuela In An Attempt To Publicly Shame Her
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Once again, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the subject of trolling by the conservative media. This time, the personal attacks have hit somewhere very close to home: her abuela. In an attempt to shame and embarrass Ocasio-Cortez, a conservative media personality started a GoFundMe for the congresswoman’s sick grandmother in Puerto Rico.
The saga began when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wrote a Twitter thread criticizing the Trump administration’s decision to block aid to Puerto Rico after 2017’s Hurricane Maria.
“Just over a week ago, my abuela fell ill,” she wrote. “I went to Puerto Rico to see her- my 1st time in a year+ bc of COVID.” Alongside the tweets were pictures of a run-down, dilapidated home. The ceiling was warped and falling apart. There were buckets on the floor to catch the leaks. “This is her home,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez. “Hurricane María relief hasn’t arrived. Trump blocked relief $ for PR. People are being forced to flee ancestral homes, & developers are taking them.”
She added: “And for the record – my abuela is doing okay. It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Rican’s across the island. She had a place to go to and be cared for – what about the thousands of people who don’t?”
Because conservative pundits are obsessed with Ocasio-Cortez, they took her tweet as an opportunity to insert themselves into her narrative.
Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 2, 2021
“Shameful that you live in luxury while allowing your own grandmother to suffer in these squalid conditions,” wrote conservative personality Matt Walsh. A few other conservative personalities, like Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro, also ganged up on her in the AOC/abuela Twitter thread.
Matt Walsh then organized a GoFundMe campaign to “raise money” for AOC’s abuela. The intention of the campaign was to imply that Ocasio-Cortez is too selfish and/or cheap to pay for repairs to her grandmother’s house.
Hi @AOC, we are raising money to help your abuela. It's been inspiring to see the response so far. Can you send me a DM so that I can get the necessary information to ensure that this money makes it to your grandmother? Thank you!https://t.co/F1N0Jxgnxg— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 4, 2021
In full snark and, frankly, disrespect, he called them campaign “Save AOC’s Abuela’s Ancestral Home”. He donated $500 of his own dollars. He called on conservative pundits and readers of his conservative blog, The Daily Caller, to organize as well. In the end, the campaign raised over $100,000. Most of the donors were conservative trolls going out of their way to make light of Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother’s situation.
Not wanting to accept money from ill-wishers and trolls, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez refused the money. GoFundMe halted the campaign.
“You don’t even have a concept for the role that 1st-gen, first-born daughters play in their families,” she wrote in response to Matt Walsh’s actions. “My abuela is okay. But instead of only caring for mine & letting others suffer, I’m calling attention to the systemic injustices you seem totally fine w/ in having a US colony.”
In the end, the right-wing trolls willfully and brazenly missed the point of Ocasio-Cortez’s original Twitter thread. By sharing her family’s personal story, AOC was exposing the larger, systematic failures of the U.S. government to help Puerto Ricans.
AOC is a privileged, famous American politician and has the means to help out her family in Puerto Rico. But not every Puerto Rican has a rich and famous relative to support them financially. That is why it’s the government’s responsibility to provide disaster reliefs to those who are suffering.