Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took issue with a segment on a show hosted by Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham when a guest made fun of the way Ocasio-Cortez pronounces her name, resorting to stereotypes about Latinas and other barely-veiled racist tropes. According to a report from Newsweek, the host of The Ingraham Angle and her guest, conservative commentator Joe diGenova seemed to imply that Ocasio-Cortez exaggerates her accent when she says her own name, deliberately overemphasizing her Latina heritage.
“You’ve noticed that AOC, the star of the moment, the ‘It Girl,’ and I mean ‘girl’ in a very mature way,” Ingraham began. “She’s the star, and she’s the juice of the whole party, where the excitement is, but you notice when she introduces herself–“
Then guest diGenova chimed in, using an over-the-top Latino accent to pronounce an approximation of her name.
“She does the ‘Latina thing’ where she does her, you know, Anastasio [sic] Ocasio-Cortez.”
“And, I assume she’s going to love that when I do that,” he added, laughing as Ingraham expressed her approval.
But Ocasio-Cortez was quick to respond on Twitter, clapping back in withering fashion at the duo’s seeming inability to wrap their heads around the idea that someone might dare to speak with a different accent from their own in the modern era.
If by ‘the Latina thing,’ she means I actually do the work instead of just talk about it, then yeah, I’m doing ‘the Latina thing.’— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
Unless of course she‘s talking about being multilingual, which we know isn’t a ‘Latina thing.’
It’s a ‘21st century’ thing.https://t.co/v41dAyjshP
But Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t done tweeting. She went on to sarcastically question why each of them doesn’t mispronounce their own family names “so that I can feel more comfortable.” She also pointed out that perhaps a little self-examination is in order if something as petty as a person’s name can put them out so much.
It’s not the first time Ingraham has spoken about Ocasio-Cortez on her show. She actually offered the progressive firebrand some grudging props in January for re-animating the Democratic Party after they lost to President Donald Trump in 2016, and saying it was “impressive” that AOC had managed to beat 20-year incumbent Joe Crowley.
“I kind of admire that,” Ingraham said in January.
However, Ingraham also managed to turn it around and slam the Democrats at the same time, noting that anyone who wanted to win the nomination in 2020 would have to “kiss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ring” in order to secure the support of the progressive left.
It’s also not Ocasio-Cortez’s first scrap with Fox News, noting that the network has a tendency to shorten her last name to just Cortez, which she suggested may be because it “sounds more ‘stereotypically’ Hispanic and probably incites more anxiety for them.”
“Pro Tip,” she tweeted. “My last name is not ‘Cortez,’ just as theirs isn’t ‘Ingra’ or ‘Carl’ or ‘Hann.'”
And last week, Ocasio-Cortez took a swipe at Fox News constantly reporting on her, but only on petty things like her clothing choices, dubbing the network “AOC TMZ.”