Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggests Ronald Reagan's policies towards black people and minorities were 'racist'

The New York lawmaker, while speaking about her Green New Deal and Medicare for All, also called the country's current state as "garbage"


                            Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggests Ronald Reagan's policies towards black people and minorities were 'racist'

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Saturday argued that former President Ronald Reagan's policies were racist because they "pitted" the white working class against African-Americans and Hispanics, the Daily Mail reported.

The youngest congresswoman however did not call Reagan a racist explicitly.

AOC, during a one-hour interview at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, also slammed former President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, calling it a "racist policy" that benefited whites over minorities. 

FDR's New Deal, which was introduced in 1933, during the Great Depression, created varying public work projects, financial reforms and regulation to assist the country's economy. 

"One perfect example, I think a perfect example of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans in order to just screw over all working class Americans is Reaganism in the eighties, when he started talking about Welfare Queens," the lawmaker said.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) greets fellow lawmakers ahead of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) greets fellow lawmakers ahead of the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

"It gives people a logical reason, a 'logical' reason to say, 'oh yeah, no, toss out the whole social safety net," she added.

Shortly after her statement, many prominent conservatives took to social media and television to express their outrage 

Fox News host Laura Ingram suggested that AOC was too young to understand and was wrong because Reagan was elected and re-elected in a "landslide."

While conservative commentator Larry Elder took to Twitter to write: "Watch @AOC accuse President Ronald Reagan of utilizing racism to 'screw over all working-class Americans.' (Oh, so THAT explains how Reagan carried 49 states in '84. Black unemployment fell faster than did white unemployment. Black businesses grew faster than white owned ones.)"

AOC, during her interview on Saturday evening, explained why she believed Roosevelt's New Deal was controversial and racist.

The Democratic socialist said: "The New Deal was an extremely economically racist policy that drew little red lines around black and brown communities and it invested in white America. It allowed white Americans access to home loans that black Americans didn't have access to, giving them access to the greatest source of intergenerational wealth."

The New York lawmaker, while speaking about her Green New Deal and Medicare for All, also called the country's current state as "garbage."

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The freshmen congresswoman held a news conference to call on Congress 'to cut funding for President Trump's deportation force.' (Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The freshmen congresswoman held a news conference to call on Congress 'to cut funding for President Trump's deportation force.' (Getty Images)

"I think the thing that is really hard for people to sometimes see is that when we are on this path of a slow erosion and a slow, slow, slow, just like move away from what we've always been, we'll be a hundred miles, you'll, you know you won't even realize that you've drifted a hundred miles," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"So, when someone's talking about our core, it's like oh this is radical, but this isn't radical, this is what we've always been."

"It's just that now we've strayed so far away from what has really made us powerful, and just, and good, and equitable, and productive, and so I think all of these things sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing.

"And this idea of like 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for. … It feels like moderate is not a stance, it's just an attitude towards life of like 'hmmm," she added.