New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused the top Republican in the House of allowing a “Ku Klux Klan caucus” to target nonwhite, female members for their supporters to attack and threaten.
In a series of tweets posted from her personal account on Tuesday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said Mr McCarthy “is so desperate to be speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of [woman of colour] members of Congress”.
“This cannot be ignored,” she said.
The progressive firebrand’s comments were meant to illustrate how most Americans “truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats” which have been targeted at her colleague, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
One of only two Muslim women in Congress — and the only one to wear a hijab, or headscarf, Ms Omar has been the focus of derogatory rumours, right-wing conspiracy theories, and even death threats from the time she was first sworn in.
On Tuesday, Ms Omar revealed that she had been on the receiving end of a vulgar threatening phone message in the wake of Ms Boebert posting a video regarding her aborted attempt at a phone call to apologise for Islamophobic remarks she’d made which had recently gone viral.
The message, which she played for reporters, consisted of a male voice saying: “You f***ing Muslim piece of s***... you f***ing traitor, you will not live any longer”.
Continuing, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said Mr McCarthy’s acceptance of his colleagues’ violent rhetoric “is not just about nasty phone calls and emails”.
“[Republicans] are given freedom to incite without consequence. They don’t have to pay for the security required from their acts. We do,” she wrote, adding that her GOP colleagues actually make money from the threats by fundraising.
“They are targeting those least likely to be institutionally protected first,” she said.
The second-term New York congresswoman has also been the target of violent rhetoric from Republicans. Last month, Arizona Representative Paul Gosar became the first member to be censured in over a decade after he tweeted an animated video depicting him killing Ms Ocasio-Cortez and threatening President Joe Biden.
At the time, she told The Independent that Mr McCarthy was “not skittish” but ”encouraging” when it came to such behaviour.
“It’s not just about me,” she told The Independent. “This is that, if any member of Congress’s life is threatened, they have to fundraise for their own safety. I mean it’s ludicrous.”
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