This Wednesday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her conservative lawyer guest Joe diGenova tackled the contentious topic of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez‘s manner of speech, or to be more specific, the way she pronounces her own name.
Ingraham asked diGenova if he had noticed how, when AOC “introduces herself, does she take on that Obama, Obama put on accents?”
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) March 20, 2019
“She does the Latina thing where she does her, you know, ‘Anastasio Ocasio-Cortez,'” diGenova said, using an exaggerated accent before saying his own name with an exaggerated Italian accent.
Taking to Twitter that same day, AOC responded.
“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,’” AOC tweeted. “Unless of course she‘s talking about being multilingual, which we know isn’t a ‘Latina thing.’ It’s a ‘21st century’ thing.”
Siri, show me the brand of ‘economic anxiety’ that mocks Americans of color as unintelligent + unskilled, while *also* mocking those same Americans for speaking more languages than you: pic.twitter.com/HXBC7Osexu
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019
“Fox News likes to say my name (incorrectly) as ‘Cortez,’ which I can only imagine is bc that sounds more ‘stereotypically’ Hispanic + probably incites more ‘anxiety’ for them,” she continued in a followup tweet. “My last name is not ‘Cortez,’ just as theirs isn’t ‘Ingra’ or ‘Carl’ or ‘Hann.’”
“My last name is Ocasio-Cortez. Full stop,” she added. “That’s my name. No, you can’t say ‘Cortez.’ I’ve never used that in my life. ‘Cortez’ is referring to someone else. Even if they‘re trying to be rude + wrong, my dad’s last name was Ocasio anyway.”
She still wasn’t done.
“For the curious, in Latinx culture children take *both* their parents’ names,” she wrote. “It’s not a ‘progressive, new thing.’ It’s just how some names work. PR hyphenates, others mark differently. Your last name = the families that came together to make you. AOC is also fine though.”
The tweets generated massive engagement, being liked and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.
AOC’s latest Twitter dust up comes at a time where her public persona is rising to the highest level it’s been yet. Next week, she’ll be featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with the flattering introduction of, “The Phenom.”
“Ocasio-Cortez represents one vision of the Democratic Party’s future,” the TIME piece states. “She’s a young Hispanic woman, three cornerstones of the party’s electoral coalition. She’s a democratic socialist at a time when confidence in capitalism is declining, especially among progressive millennials.”