‘I am from the Bronx. I act & talk like it’: AOC denies she ‘affected’ her accent when talking to predominantly black crowd, as the freshman Democrat sparks Twitter debate over whether she is ‘real’

Saturday, April 6, 2019
By Paul Martin

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seemed to slip into an accent during speech on Friday
Her critics pounced, calling the accent ‘fake’ and cringe-worthy
But others defended AOC, saying she was code switching, ‘something that virtually every professional person of color learns’
Ocasio-Cortez also defended her accent as natural saying ‘I am from the Bronx’
AOC spoke at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in New York on Friday

6 April 2019

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has denied accusations she affected her accent when talking to a predominantly black audience at a conference held by the Rev. Al Sharpton Friday.

The freshman Democrat’s jarring accent was quickly criticized online by users who called the accent ‘fake’ and cringe-worthy. But AOC immediately hit back, defending it as authentic on Twitter.

‘Folks talking about my voice can step right off,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘Any kid who grew up in a distinct linguistic culture & had to learn to navigate class enviros at school/work knows what’s up. My Spanish is the same way.’

‘As much as the right wants to distort & deflect, I am from the Bronx. I act & talk like it, *especially* when I’m fired up and especially when I’m home. It is so hurtful to see how every aspect of my life is weaponized against me, yet somehow asserted as false at the same time,’ she continued.

Ocasio-Cortez grew up in the Bronx until she was five, when her family purchased a home in Yorktown Heights in upstate Westchester County. She returned to the Bronx after graduating from Boston University in 2011.

‘Ain’t nothing wrong with that,’ the freshman Democrat drawled while speaking on Friday at Sharpton’s National Action Network conference in the Sheraton Times Square in Manhattan.

‘I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘There’s nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy.’

The speech sparked a fierce debate on Twitter over whether AOC is ‘real’.

Conservative pundits quickly pointed out the jarring accent that Ocasio-Cortez seemed to slip into repeatedly, which sounded halfway between Southern drawl and Boricua twang.

‘We’ve played a lot of clips of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she doesn’t talk like that in a single one of them. That’s fake, that what that is,’ Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson said on his Friday show.

Other critics from the right took to Twitter to mock Ocasio-Cortez for her newfound accent.

‘I got five seconds into the video of AOC putting on an accent before cringing out,’ wrote Washington Free Beacon reporter Alex Griswold.

‘Ocasio-Cortez speaks in an accent that she never uses while telling a room of predominately black people that there is nothing wrong with them folding clothes, cooking, and driving other people around on a bus for a living,’ wrote Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra.

‘She literally pulled a Hillary Clinton,’ he continued, referring to Clinton’s habit of slipping into Southern accents in front of certain audiences during her Senate campaign.

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