Rep. @AOC (D-NY): "I want to tell children across this country...that no matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and it belongs to everyone, and today, that notion -- that very notion -- was challenged." https://t.co/7FfSzCLKfr pic.twitter.com/86gjbacWQX
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 15, 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivered a powerful speech on Monday, July 15, at a press conference with fellow Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, all of whom were the target of racist tweets by Donald Trump the previous weekend. The president recently tweeted that AOC and "this crowd" are "a bunch of communists" and "hate our own country." He said the four democratic congresswomen of color, who are all US citizens, should go back to their own countries and "help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came." (Notably, Omar — whose family fled the Somalian civil war to seek refuge in America when she was an 8-year-old, is the only immigrant among them) His tweets immediately received widespread backlash.
At the press conference on Capitol Hill, each woman shared powerful words decrying the hateful language and calling for unity. AOC herself said a lot with a few words. She recounted the story of the first time she visited Washington DC as a kid, which was during a family road trip from New York to Florida. Her dad took her to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and told her, "This belongs to all of us," as they looked at the Capitol.
She said, "I want to tell children across this country is that no matter what the president says, this country belongs to you, and today, that notion — that very notion — was challenged." The congresswomen ultimately referred to Trump's explosive remarks as a "distraction from what's important" and agreed to stay focused on their work. Watch part of AOC's address above.