Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and now her chief of staff is going after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the issue of migrant children in detention at the border.
“Didn’t realize this needed to be said, but: you can be someone who does not personally harbor ill will towards a race, but through your actions still enable a racist system. And a lot of New Democrats and Blue Dogs did that today,” Saikat Chakrabarti, the chief of staff for Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted earlier this week.
“This is in reference to my comparing Blue Dogs and New Democrats to 1940s Southern Democrats,” he wrote in another. “Southern Democrats enabled a racist system too. I have no idea how personally racist they all were. And we’re seeing the same dynamic play out now.”
Ocasio-Cortez then accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “singling out” her and fellow newcomers, all women of color, according to the Associated Press.
Ocasio-Cortez told The Washington Post on Wednesday that “the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
The increased tension comes after Democrats passed legislation to send $4.6 billion in emergency funds to the southern border amid a humanitarian crisis there.
Ocasio-Cortez, one of our members of Congress that voted against the measure, said she believes humanitarian aid funds could be diverted to immigration enforcement by the current administration.
Related Article: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Hits Back After Criticism for Voting Against Border Funding Bill
Democrats have quickly taken sides on the issue.
Rep. John Lewis, the Civil Rights icon, said that it was “a little too far” for the staff member to compare lawmakers to segregationists.
“Can we just talk about the issues we’re dealing with? We have kids in cages,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told the Associated Press. “It’s not about AOC. … It’s about progressives and our relationship to the Democratic caucus and our priorities.”
Pelosi called the tweet offensive.