Video emerged late last week of bigoted Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene trying to intimidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her congressional office in Washington, D.C. The video, filmed in 2019, was taken as Greene went to Ocasio-Cortez’s office, uninvited, to laugh at and mock her while purposely mispronouncing her name and talking through the mail slot in her door. Greene was flanked by a small gang of thuggy guys, including one who some think participated in the Capitol insurrection. The video, which was initially streamed by Greene on Facebook Live but later deleted, resurfaced just days after Greene accosted Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor. There, Greene accused Ocasio-Cortez of backing “terrorists and antifa,” which is rich considering that Greene exists only to give aid and comfort to white domestic terrorists.
Greene’s stated goal in all of this is to bully Ocasio-Cortez into “debating” her about God knows what. Ocasio-Cortez has, of course, determined to do no such thing, and she is absolutely right to stand up to Greene’s intimidation tactics. First of all, wrestling with Greene does Ocasio-Cortez no good since it only elevates Greene, even if Ocasio-Cortez is only lifting her up to throw her in the trash. Secondly, Greene has no policy platform to debate. While Ocasio-Cortez has an actual agenda to defend (the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and many other positions), Greene is a conspiracy theory made flesh who is only able to string two sentences together in support of guns, chin-ups, and racism. You can’t debate that; you can only wipe it off your shoes.
MTG is not the right-wing version of AOC, despite her own best efforts to set herself up as AOC’s nemesis. She does not have a coherent policy agenda like AOC does; she hasn’t brought new voters into the political process like AOC has; and she’s not as influential within her own party as AOC has become. The only things MTG is good at are being white and a jerk.
Which is precisely why the white wing loves her, and why white media like Newsmax drive the narrative that, far from being the unhinged aggressor, Greene is merely standing up to AOC and liberals in general. Please understand: The false equivalency between Greene and Ocasio-Cortez is what happens to nearly every person of color who rises to prominence in this country. White people always find some low-account, undereducated, unskilled, crass loser to “oppose” people of color in the public space. Greene’s attempted elevation to the position of antebellum-AOC is just the congressional equivalent of the white masses lifting up Donald Trump to oppose Barack Obama. It’s the same as white people thinking Ben Shapiro can tangle with Nikole Hannah-Jones. Greene is this generation’s version of Vanilla Ice.
It’s not funny though. It’s enraging. When people try to elevate this wannabe Tonya Harding to the level of a woman of color like Ocasio-Cortez, what they’re really saying is “we can pull a white person out of a dumpster and force you to debate her.” Every person of color in the public space has been given this demeaning message at one time or another. I, for instance, cannot open my Twitter account without being “challenged to debate” by some least-common-denominator white dude who lacks the literary foundation to even understand half of my insults. It is infuriating. It’s like trying to listen to a performance of Carmen while the Tuesday night karaoke champion in the row behind you keeps hopping up to bray out the arias.
This, of course, is the essential promise of white supremacy, the lie that simply by dint of being white you are better than any person of color you come across. Greene’s sense of entitlement derives entirely from being white. Again, this is a woman with no skills and no policies. She has no reason to think anybody would want to talk to her, much less debate her, other than that she’s white and that’s always been enough for her to do whatever she wants.
And she’s only getting away with these kinds of crass intimidation tactics because she’s a white woman attacking women of color. You’ll note that Greene did not try any of these stunts with recently defrocked Liz Cheney. No, she pulled this crap with AOC and Cori Bush, and she’s probably just being forced to wait in line behind all the other racist Republicans lined up two deep outside Ilhan Omar’s office. But I’ll bet you all the money in my pocket we don’t see Greene pull this kind of stunt outside Katie Porter’s office.
Speaking of the white members of Congress, this would be a good time to see some allyship. Ocasio-Cortez should not be fending off this mascot of white supremacy alone, and the members of “the Squad” shouldn’t be the only ones standing with her. Elise Stefanik, newly crowned “non-threatening Republican female” assistant, might consider using her new leadership position to have a talk with Greene. At the very least, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has denounced Greene’s attacks and hinted at ethical repercussions, needs to up security around Ocasio-Cortez’s office, since it’s clear that white insurrectionists still roam the halls of Congress intending to do harm to her members.
It’s perhaps beyond the current Republican Party to control its white supremacist heroes, but it’s not too much to ask white members of Congress to stand in solidarity with AOC against Greene’s malicious behavior toward a colleague, and vocally so.
Greene is a clown, but her brand of racism is not a joke. It is old and it is ugly, and the most frightening thing is that racists like her won’t take “no” for an answer. They don’t allow people of color to just walk away. If they’re not punished for their behavior, they escalate. And when the intimidation doesn’t work, they often resort to violence.
Majorie Taylor Greene is not a “Karen” who is trying to speak to the manager. She is a white supremacist who has targeted her next victim. Make her stop, before it is too late.