Saturday, April 06, 2019

Accenting The Obvious

At the National Action Network convention in New York City, New York, Representative Alexandria humble-bragging Ocasio-Cortez 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.

Sandy is no longer a bartender, and has become such a sensation she's often referred to only by her initials, roughly akin to calling mega-superstar Lebron James "LBJ." Nonetheless, No one has said there is anything wrong with folding clothes for other people to buy, preparing food for your neighbors, driving buses, or being a "working person" at all. And if someone had, the congresswoman accepted for herself a responsibility to name names. Understandably, though, that's not the focus of criticism of her remarks, to which Ocasio-Cortez has responded

Well, now, that's interesting because nobody- from the Bronx or otherwise- has stepped forward to say that Ocasio-Cortez ever has acted or talked as she did at the NAN gathering.  Unless she's living in the 1970s- well before Ocasio-Cortez was born- she doesn't walk around saying "ain't." Nor is it likely that many of her constituents in the Bronx do, however old they may be.

Nor is "wrong" pronounced like "rahng," as Ocasio-Cortez did, in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Washington, D.C. It's not even a common pronunciation in the deep south. It's from- oh, I don't know, and neither does she.

Whatever accent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was trying to mimic in her verbal analog to blackface, she did a bad job.  And if you're going to patronize a group of people, at least do it well. Sometimes success is an effective defense.

Nevertheless, Ocasio-Cortez has figured out that when the facts are not on your side, accuse your opponent of "weaponizing" something or other, as Trumpaholics are doing.

Now that the House Ways and Means Committee has finally requested Donald Trump's tax returns, House Minority Leader McCarthy claimed Democrats "voted yesterday to weaponize the IRS to attack political opponents."  Representative Kevin Brady of Texas chimed in "That's the dangerous precedent that comes when you weaponize the tax code" while Georgia's Bob Woodall, a GOP member of the Ways and Means Committee, claimed “to see what the Ways and Means Committee is doing, now to use its Article 1 power to weaponize the tax code is really disturbing.” Karl Rove added "weaponizing the IRS in this manner so that you can use the IRS to get the tax return of a political opponent to embarrass them or attack them."

Impressively, Ocasio-Cortez recognizes that this country is not the ethnocentric "America" or even the "United States" but the "United States of America."  So at least she knows where she is, even if she hasn't found the authentic accent.

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