Right-winger tells Ocasio-Cortez to read a book about Reagan and gets owned on Twitter


A conservative author who wrote a biography on former President Ronald Reagan got his a** handed to him on Monday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after he condescendingly told her to read a book on Reagan because it somehow proves he wasn’t a racist.

During her appearance at the SXSW conference over the weekend, the popular freshman congresswoman took aim at Reagan’s legacy because he “pitted” white working class people against people of color “to screw over all working-class Americans,” particularly by creating the image of a welfare queen to incite opposition to the social safety net.

“So you think about this image of welfare queens and what he was really trying to talk about was this like really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing, that were ‘sucks’ on our country,” she said. “And it’s this whole tragedy of the commons type of thinking where it’s like because this one specific group of people, that you are already kind of subconsciously primed to resent, you give them a different reason that’s not explicit racism but still rooted in a racist caricature. It gives people a logical reason, a ‘logical’ reason to say, ‘Oh yeah, no, toss out the whole social safety net.'”

Ocasio-Cortez is right, of course. But Reagan biographer Craig Shirley objected on Twitter in one of the most insulting ways possible.

The problem is that a lot of books about Reagan, especially books by authors who worship the ground Reagan walked on, tend to leave out the bad parts of Reagan’s legacy to paint him as a saintly president.

Fortunately, there are other books out there that are far less biased, something Ocasio-Cortez informed Shirley when she took him to the woodshed.

And then someone pointed out that Reagan only begrudgingly signed the MLK Day bill, resulting in another Ocasio-Cortez tweet.

Once again, AOC is correct.

According to the Boston Review:

“As support for the holiday gained momentum in 1981 and 1982, Reagan vehemently opposed the idea” because of his personal dislike for Martin Luther King. In fact, the only reason Reagan signed the bill is that it “provided Reagan with political pretext to silence the mounting criticism of his positions on civil rights.”

And those criticisms were absolutely warranted.

Reagan built his political career on a foundation of anti-black civil rights. He opposed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, calling it “a bad piece of legislation.” A year later he came out against the Voting Rights Act, which he deemed “humiliating to the South.” During his 1966 California gubernatorial campaign, he defended the Golden State’s Proposition 14, which passed in 1964 and nullified the state’s fair housing law, effectively reinstating the right to discriminate in home sales and leases. “If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house,” Reagan insisted, “it is his right to do so.” A Reagan campaign ad that same year referred to black neighborhoods as “jungles.”

In short, Reagan is every bit the racist AOC said he was and more. Reagan didn’t sign the bill because he changed his ways or truly believed in equality and civil rights. He did it for strictly political reasons and so he used King’s legacy to excuse “colorblind” ideology to oppose “remedies to racial injustice.”

It’s the same strategy President Donald Trump and Republicans use today. Only AOC has the courage to call them and Reagan out for it.

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