Does It Matter If Ocasio-Cortez Isn’t Really ‘Alexandria From The Bronx?’
Rep.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY) was born in the Bronx but grew up in Yorktown Heights, a middle-class community of Westchester County, which is the home of the Rockefeller family’s opulent hilltop estate.
She caused shock waves in the midterm elections when she defeated Congressman Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary in Queens and the Bronx, and last week was sworn in as the youngest woman in Congress at age 28.
Some conservatives who are obsessed with her Socialist-Progressive Latina campaign persona are trying to hold where she grew up against her, wrote Dan Murphy who attended Yorktown High School — the same school Ocasio-Cortez attended.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 38: Tony Effik
Jamarlin talks to Tony Effik, SVP of Client Strategy at NBCUniversal, about where the digital media business is going. Tony talks about directing strategy across the largest multi-billion dollar media portfolio, opportunities with subscriptions, and the business of podcasting.
“You don’t have to be embarrassed because your family worked their rear ends off to give you a better life,” Murphy wrote in the Yonkers Times.
Her parents moved from working-class Parkchester in the Bronx to Yorktown Heights in middle-class Westchester County, N.Y., for better schools.
“I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family — mother from Puerto Rico, dad from the South Bronx. I was born in a place where your Zip code determines your destiny,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her viral campaign video.
Certain corners of the right are obsessed with the idea that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez must be faking her working-class roots, Slate reported. They’ve accused her of lying about her name because in high school her nickname was “Sandy”. They also say she faked her working-class Bronx roots because she grew up in Yorktown and attended a well-funded high school in “hoity-toity Westchester County.”
Ocasio-Cortez never claimed that she grew up in poverty, only that she was born to working-class parents in the Bronx, wrote Heather Schwedel in Slate.
Because of the hard work of her parents and family, Ocasio-Cortez was able to live the American dream, Murphy wrote. She lived in Yorktown with her mother in a house bought for $150,000 in 1992. Her family pooled their resources and came up with the down payment for a home.
Ocasio-Cortez’s family did everything right in the way we traditionally think they should do it in the U.S., the Washington Post reported. “Yet they still almost financially cratered when they encountered a bad patch. That’s not uncommon in a country with an inadequate safety net, where 40 percent of the population says they could not come up with $400 in an emergency.”
So what’s fueling the conservative uproar?
“The uproar fuels the bigger narrative that Ocasio-Cortez, as we know her, is an invention, a performer of oppression and even of her ethnicity—she wouldn’t be in Congress if she were who she claims she is,” Schwedel wrote:
Conservative websites and Twitter accounts have treated the Sandy ‘revelation,’ along with video footage and pictures of Ocasio-Cortez in high school and college, like a smoking gun. But why did ‘Sandy’ strike a particular nerve? Why would anyone point to a high school nickname as proof of anything? … ‘Sandy’ is an established nickname for ‘Alexandria’ … “Alexandria’ is also not particularly associated with the Latino community … for a subset of conservatives, Ocasio-Cortez’s true identity as ‘Sandy’ feeds into the notion that liberals who practice identity politics feign oppression, and that therefore oppression isn’t real.”
When Ocasio-Cortz was confronted with her Yortown history, here’s how she responded: “Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.
‘Sandy’ as She Was Known at Her Privileged School in #Yorktown – NOT in the #Bronx! Michael Blueglass @YHSSciRes Is it Sandy or Alexandria Ocasio? @AOC #VeryInteresting #TheList #POTUS45 #SCOTUS #DeleteTheTweet #Snarky @realDonaldTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr @WhiteHouse @NSAGov pic.twitter.com/NreeJCu7yR
— Santa Claus Of The United States (@bigredwavenow) January 3, 2019
Old Photos Surface of Ocasio-Cortez or ‘Sandy’ as She Was Known at Her Privileged School in Yorktown – NOT in the Bronx https://t.co/mWEecUIlrP
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 2, 2019
Sign up for the Moguldom newsletter — business news you need to know about economic empowerment for the digital age, delivered to your inbox.