Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defends herself after critics say she used fake accent: 'Step right off'

Megan Johnson
·4 mins read
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is welcomed by the Reverend Al Sharpton during a gathering of the National Action Network on April 5, 2019 in New York. (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is welcomed by the Reverend Al Sharpton during a gathering of the National Action Network on April 5, 2019 in New York. (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is defending herself after critics say she used a fake accent during a speech to a crowd of primarily black people.

“Folks talking about my voice can step right off,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter Friday night. “Any kid who grew up in a distinct linguistic culture & had to learn to navigate class enviros at school/work knows what’s up. My Spanish is the same way.”

“As much as the right wants to distort & deflect, I am from the Bronx. I act & talk like it, *especially* when I’m fired up and especially when I’m home. It is so hurtful to see how every aspect of my life is weaponized against me, yet somehow asserted as false at the same time,” she added.

The speech, which took place at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network Convention in New York, included a passionate declaration about her own background in the service industry, and the pride people should feel to work in those roles.

“I’m proud to be a bartender, ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she told the audience. “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.”

Response on Twitter varied, ranging from claims that Ocasio-Cortez was pandering to the crowd, to those that said it was simply what happens during a passionate declaration.

Some people sided with Ocasio-Cortez, saying it was an example of her own slang coming out during a strong and passionate moment.

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