After New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a speech in New York City, some have started to mock her over her alleged attempts to sound more “black,” seemingly changing her accent on the go as she was speaking in front of her audience.
Commenters have pointed out that the audience comprised primarily of black people, which could have prompted Ocasio-Cortez to change her manner of speaking.
Ocasio-Cortez took the opportunity to talk about her past, explaining that people were still trying to attack her over the fact that she used to work as a bartender.
The politician pointed out that she was proud of her working history, and saw nothing wrong in the idea of working as a bartender.
She pointed out various other examples of professions that she saw nothing shameful in, despite the general social stigma around some of them.
She stated: "I'm proud to be a bartender. Ain't nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy. There is nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbors will eat. There is nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work. There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America and there is everything dignified about it."
It did not take long for comments on Twitter to start pointing out that her accent sounded different while delivering her speech.
Some have been very critical of the politician for that incident, while others seem to be taking it in humor instead.
In any case, Ocasio-Cortez has responded to the allegations and has maintained a firm focus on the actual political issues at hand.
She wrote on Twitter: "Next time you‘re told straight hair is “unprofessional” & that speaking like your parents do is “uneducated,” then you can complain about code-switching. Code switching is a tool communities learn when they’re told their voice, appearance, & mannerisms are “unprofessional."
She added: "Code-switching is referenced a lot in pop culture. It was a big element in a major film last year: “Sorry To Bother You.” If you’re confused about how code-switching is a cultural reality for people of color & communities, read about it. We see the perceived “costs” to not code-switching all the time. Can’t tell you how many young people in our community don’t have the confidence they should bc they didn’t grow up learning secondary speech. Their talents get stifled by “respectability,” despite enormous gifts."
Some have also pointed out that commenting her accent of all things is a bit distasteful, and does nothing to promote a healthy political discussion like the one she deserves.
Others have noted that Ocasio-Cortez gets a bit of unfair treatment from the media from time to time.
Can AOC become president one day, yes or no?