Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has used her Twitter account to blast CBS News for not including a black reporter or producer in their 2020 election coverage team. Ocasio-Cortez has 2.35 million followers on the platform.
“This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election,” she wrote as she retweeted an announcement about CBS’ election team. “Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.”
Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only person who took issue with the fact that CBS failed to include an African American. Several Twitter users pointed out the omission in their replies to the original tweet from Ben Mitchell, one of the producers on the team.
“How do you not have one black reporter or producer,” one user with the handle @TylerDinucci asked.
Others pointed out that many expect prominent black politicians like Cory Booker and Kamala Harris to announce presidential runs, so it seems like a glaring oversight to exclude a black reporter or producer.
“The largest voting bloc and the top potential nominees are black Almost a certainty an African American will be on the ticket somehow and you can’t find 1 black journalist?” user @bayofarizona tweeted.
As of writing, CBS News has not commented on the criticism of the current racial makeup of their election 2020 team.
Ocasio-Cortez has previously shown that she’s not afraid to call out racism when she sees it. During an interview with 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper asked if she thought that Trump was a racist. “Yeah, yeah no question,” she replied without hesitation.
She supported her statement by referencing examples of his previous statements to illustrate her point.
“When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy, when you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s night and day,” she continued.
Later, in a tweet related to Congressman Steve King’s statement on white supremacy, she explained why she feels the public needs to analyze why phrases like “racially-tinged,” or “racially-charged” are used instead of racist.
At this point those who use the terms “racially tinged” or “racially charged” to describe white supremacy should be prepared to explain why they chose to employ those terms instead of “racist”/“racism.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 12, 2019
If the answer is their own discomfort, they’re protecting the wrong people.
Ocasio-Cortez has also faced criticism for linking racial justice to climate change and environmental legislation. As Yahoo reports, many Twitter users mocked her for stating the belief that renewable energy could deliver “social and racial justice” at the Solving Our Climate Crisis Town Hall in December 2018. But she’s not the first politician to state that there’s a link between environmental reforms and racial justice. It’s a connection that’s been made before by a democratic socialist who many expect to run for president for the second time in 2020, Bernie Sanders.