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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,466

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Who's Afraid of Women of Color in Congress?

(Truthdig) Although Congress over time has become more diverse and more representative of the demographics of the nation, the 115th Congress was still mostly white, older, male and Christian. Then, last November, a record number of women and people of color—and especially women of color—ran for election and won office, largely in response to the white nationalist resurgence. The most visible members of this new source of diversity—young, radical, black and brown women, with none of the boys club backing or Wall Street support their congressional colleagues rely on—are fast becoming the most outspoken leaders and the biggest targets of anger and resentment.

Who’s afraid of New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and other congressional women of color? It turns out that President Donald Trump is, along with many rank-and-file Republicans. A large part of the Democratic Party is, too.

Perhaps no one embodies the anxieties of the establishment as completely as Ocasio-Cortez. The 29-year-old represents so many things Trump’s supporters fear. She is a young woman. She is brown-skinned. She espouses the politics of a long-ignored liberal and progressive faction in the nation. And she is unafraid. Her introduction of a Green New Deal (GND) resolution has offered great fodder for Republicans, who have done everything they can to mischaracterize it. Trump, in his Conservative Political Action Conference speech, pretended the GND would mean “[n]o planes, no energy. … When the wind stops blowing, that’s the end of your electric[ity].” And Republicans this week plan to slam the resolution as “nonsense on stilts” and a “vehicle for socialists policies that have nothing to do with climate change.”

But it hasn’t been enough to attack her policies. Ed Rollins, chair of a political action committee backing Trump, earlier this year called Ocasio-Cortez “the little girl who wants to do Reagan, pre-Reagan economics and 70 percent taxes.” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway echoed this type of infantilizing comment, calling Ocasio-Cortez a “29-year-old congresswoman who doesn’t seem to know much about anything when you ask her basic concepts about the economy, or the Middle East, or military funding.” Most recently, Republican billionaire Barnard Marcus’s group—unironically called the Job Creators Network—funded billboards in New York City claiming that Ocasio-Cortez considers herself “the boss” because of her backing of the GND. This naked attempt at emasculating the public plays on the misogynist vulnerabilities of Trump’s base. ..........(more)


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