Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has fired back at conservative critics who accused her of adopting a faux “Southern drawl” for her speech at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention in New York on Friday.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that “folks talking about my voice can step right off.”
“Any kid who grew up in a distinct linguistic culture & had to learn to navigate class enviros at school/work knows what’s up,” she added. “My Spanish is the same way.”
In a second tweet posted Friday, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted how she is from the Bronx.
“I act & talk like it, *especially* when I’m fired up and especially when I’m home,” she continued.
Ocasio-Cortez also said it was “so hurtful” to see “how every aspect of my life is weaponized against me yet somehow asserted as false at the same time.”
In her speech, Ocasio-Cortez knocked President Donald Trump for calling out her previous job as a bartender. “There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America,” she told the reportedly predominantly black crowd.
“I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she said. “There is 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.”
Don Lemon, the host of “CNN Tonight,” played down the criticism of Ocasio-Cortez by telling his CNN colleague Chris Cuomo that she was “code-switching, everybody does it.”
“There is a difference between mocking someone, or a group of people, and knowing your audience and reading the crowd,” said Lemon.
“She’s speaking to a group of black people, from New York, where she is from, she’s at Al Sharpton’s event, she’s from the Bronx,” he added. “If you are from the Bronx, you have hung out with black people and that is not the first time she has used that accent. Trust me.”