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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it louder for the people at the back: ‘Cancelled people aren’t published and amplified in major outlets’

Vic Parsons July 10, 2020
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a PSA for those bemoaning cancel culture

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Drag Race Season 12 runway. (WoW)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has an important public service announcement for those trying to cancel “cancel culture”.

This week, JK Rowling and 150 other prominent public figures signed an open letter bemoaning the “restriction of debate” in modern culture.

The letter, which was published on July 8 in Harper’s Magazine, was signed by many leading anti-trans voices and argued that “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism” is stifling freedom of speech.

This came soon after Rowling received global criticism for her tweets comparing healthcare for transgender people to “a new kind of conversion therapy”.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken feminist and trans ally, offered a thinly-veiled criticism of the letter by skewering the discourse around it.

“People who are actually ‘cancelled’ don’t get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets,” she tweeted Friday (July 10). “This has been a public service announcement.”

She continued: “The term ‘cancel culture’ comes from entitlement — as though the person complaining has the right to a large, captive audience, and one is a victim if people choose to tune them out.

“Odds are you’re not actually cancelled, you’re just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked.”

“I have an entire TV network dedicated to stoking hatred of me,” continued Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat who serves as house representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

“A white supremacist with a popular network show regularly distorts me in dangerous ways, and it’s a normal part of my existence to get death threats from their audience. You don’t see me complaining about ‘cancel culture’.”

She ended: “Many of the people actually ‘cancelled’ are those long denied a fair hearing of their ideas to begin with:

“Palestinian human rights advocates, abolitionists, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists.

“Not spicy ‘contrarians’ who want to play devils advocate with your basic rights in the NYT.”

Criticism of AOC’s read of the situation from conservative voices was swift.

Kash Jackson, a Libertarian who ran for Illinois governor in 2018 – and lost – immediately branded her a communist.

We will defeat you and your fellow communists,” Jackson tweeted. “America will always remain both free and beautiful no matter how much you and Ilhan Omar try and defile her…”

Another man, this one with 518 followers and going by the name Aaron Watson, also sent Ocasio-Cortez a lightly bigoted response.

“When you say ‘cancel culture’ what you intend is to actually cancel American culture,” he said.

However, it seems unlikely that AOC – who has 7.5 million Twitter followers and recently won the New York Democratic primary by a landslide – has seen their comments.

Happily, most people reacting to her post seem to have understood the point she was making.

More: aoc, Drag Race, freedom of speech, JK Rowling, trans rights

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