Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview Tuesday that marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot” when pushed too far.
The New York Democrat was discussing Israel and the Palestinians on “Ebro in the Morning,” a radio show on the New York City hip-hop station Hot 97. But she made clear she was also referring to poor communities in the United States and elsewhere.
“I believe that injustice is a threat to the safety of all people, because once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized, then you create a … like, once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot,” she said.
“I’m not even talking about Palestinians. I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States. I’m talking about Latin America. I’m talking about like all over the world.”
By way of example, Ocasio-Cortez mentioned riots in U.S. cities in 1968 following Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
“Social destabilization is what happens when people do not have a plan or feel like there’s no vision for their future,” she said.
The congresswoman, who has been accused of inflammatory anti-American rhetoric, did not directly address more recent riots, such as those in Baltimore in 2015 after Freddie Gray’s death.
Ocasio-Cortez is a riot on immigration
Earlier in the nearly hour-long interview, Ocasio-Cortez rejected President Donald Trump’s recent claims that she and her “squad” of fellow freshman Democratic congresswomen “of color” hate the United States and Israel. But she did not object when Darden called them “corrupt governments working together.”
After Darden added that “white supremacist Jews” are “legit aligning with racism and white supremacy” and “what’s going on with Israel and Palestine: is “very very criminal” and very very unjust,” she replied: “Absolutely.”
Ocasio-Cortez also suggested that migrants have a human right to come to the United States. Recalling her tour of Customs and Border Patrol facilities in Texas early this month, she said that the people she saw there were “refugees” whom the United States helped to drive from their homes.
“These people are refugees,” the New York Democrat said, though a small fraction of immigrants are ultimately recognized as such. “They are fleeing political persecution. They are fleeing violence. They are fleeing social destabilization, which the United States has played a role in. We’ve played a role in it.”
Ocasio-Cortez went on to give examples of U.S. actions that supposedly forced migration to the country.
“When we decide to drop bombs in Yemen, and have conversations about getting involved in Syria and Iran and Central America, we are participating and we are opening ourselves up to destabilizing a region,” she said. “And when you destabilize a region, people flee. And I believe, then, we take the responsibility.”
“There’s room in this country,” she added.
What’s she talking about?
Ocasio-Cortez was apparently referring to U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which since 2015 has killed thousands of civilians and exacerbated a national famine. But the U.S. military has only fired at the Gulf country in limited retaliation for attacks on its warships.
When it comes to Syria, Iran and Central America, Ocasio-Cortez and other left-wing critics of the Trump administration have led many of the “conversations” about alleged Trumpian invasion plots.
The congresswoman has also repeatedly condemned U.S. foreign policy and suggested that she views immigration to the United States as akin to a human right, helping to push her party leftward on the issue.