Apologies that aren’t apologies, 2020 edition (or: New York Strong defeats Florida Man)

By now you might have heard of this.  House representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – you know, the person who beat the odds to defeat a ten-term senator and revitalize New York’s 14th District, has been working hard in her freshman Congress stint, despite the misogyny and unabated vulgarities thrown at her.

And recently, she received a series of vulgarities aimed at her from one of her fellow House members, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL).  Yoho got into a very heated argument with AOC outside of the House, and as AOC walked away, Yoho described her, to the reporters in earshot, as a “fucking bitch.”

Word got back to AOC.  Word also got back to various members of the House.

And the next day, Yoho issued an apology.

If that’s even a true apology.  Yoho said he could not apologize for the nature of his passion, that his words were never spoken TO AOC, and if they were misconstrued, then he’s sorry that someone misconstrued them.  It’s the old, “I’m sorry if you were offended” trope, an apology that sounds like an apology, but isn’t one.

Eventually Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was able to respond.  And boy did she respond.

It wasn’t just about Yoho calling AOC a fucking bitch.  It was about the way women are treated in the world – that there are those who feel it’s acceptable to treat women with vulgarities and such.   She noted that in Yoho’s apology, Yoho mentioned that he has two daughters.  AOC responded that she herself is almost the same age as Yoho’s youngest daughter, and would it be acceptable for someone to call Yoho’s daughter a fucking bitch?

Trust me, AOC has been working like crazy for her constituents.  She’s there at food banks and charitable events.  She truly represents the people of her Bronx / Queens neighborhoods.  Dismissing her as “just a bartender,” as some people have done, misses the point.  She was a bartender, for sure.  And she did that to pay her college loans when her father died.  And being a bartender – being a person willing to work – means that she understands the same struggles that us 9-5’ers endure.

But that’s not good enough for some people.  They’ve put her face on disgusting, vulgar memes.  There was a whole secret Facebook group – populated by government officials – that manipulated pictures of AOC in scenes of rape and sodomy.  Ugh.  They unfairly blame her for an Amazon headquarters that would have been placed in her district – the original plan for Amazon was to build the headquarters with massive tax breaks; eventually, thanks to AOC, the headquarters was in fact built in NYC with Amazon paying their fair share, meaning the jobs lost from Amazon’s aborted first arrival were later added during Amazon’s second arrival.

Oh, and then there was that group of Mitch McConnell volunteers who thought it was a laff ryot to take a photo with a cardboard cutout of AOC, grabbing what Donald Trump said was appropriate to grab while riding an Access Hollywood bus.

And, of course, AOC has definitely run afoul of this CURRENT Florida Man.

I don’t know if Trump just doesn’t know AOC’s last name – it’s “Ocasio-Cortez,” not just “Cortez” – or maybe he does and he thinks it’s funny to troll her.

Yeah, let’s see how well that worked.

Or maybe it’s because, during the Michael Cohen hearings in Congress, AOC used her precious questioning time to bring up something important, involving what Congress would need to technically “follow the money” into Trump’s shady deals, where one could find Trump’s tax returns, and some of Trump’s attempts to get the National Enquirer to “catch and kill” stories that were not flattering to Trump.


Let’s make a few things clear.  We could call these speeches “fiery,” but that wouldn’t be proper.  That would feed into the stereotypes and old tropes of Latin women being saucy, hot-tempered vixens.  You want to give descriptions to AOC’s words?  Try “powerful” and “thought-provoking” and “strong.”

That being said, there are still people who, based on nothing but their own personal bias against AOC, want to minimize the “fucking bitch” comment as something trivial.

I have to vehemently disagree on this.  “Fucking bitch” wasn’t just a name.  It’s a vulgarity with a conceit of racism and anger behind it.  Just because Yoho has a wife and daughters, doesn’t give him the right to denigrate someone else’s daughter like that.  That’s like saying, “I have black friends who don’t mind if I use the N-word around them.”  Right, sure you do.  You just keep telling yourself that.

Well, at this point, Rep. Yoho can move back to his “back bench” seats, and do whatever he doesn’t do for his constituents.

And at the same time, let AOC do what she can do – make NY-14 a better place for her neighborhood, and help raise intelligence and kindness.

Instead of calling her a fucking bitch, you might want to note that she’s getting stuff done.

What have you done of late, Rep. Yoho?

Yeah, can’t think of anything, either.  Except for you calling someone a fucking bitch.  Ugh.