Ocasio-Cortez wants you to believe that she is just asking simple questions about why the speaker is “singling out” four new members of Congress, each of whom also happens to be a woman of color. That people have inferred from her comments that the speaker is a racist is an unfortunate unintended consequence! She added, “And knowing the media environment that we’re operating in, knowing the amount of death threats that we get, knowing the amount of concentration detention, I think it’s just worth asking why.” On Wednesday, after Pelosi reportedly scolded the New York congresswoman and her fellow freshman liberals, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, for speaking openly about private Democratic business, Ocasio-Cortez complained to the press that she felt targeted.

Ocasio-Cortez referred specifically to the closed-door meeting as well as other critical things Pelosi has said in the past about the New York representative and her so-called squad. Uh-huh. The “just asking questions” routine was entertaining when South Park did it as a spoof of Glenn Beck. But they did it as a joke, not as a transparent attempt to snake out of a stupid act of friendly fire. The congresswoman added, “But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.” “When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” she told the Washington Post. “It’s really just pointing out the pattern, right? We’re not talking about just progressives, it’s singling out four individuals,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Manu Raju. The implications here are clear: Pelosi is targeting Ocasio-Cortez and her besties because, well, the speaker may or may not be … you know. Now, let us go back and look at Ocasio-Cortez’s supposed “climbdown.” She is “just pointing out the pattern.” She thinks it is “just worth asking why.” She did not mean to suggest Pelosi is a racist. In fact, she said specifically Thursday that Pelosi is “absolutely not, absolutely not” a racist. Ocasio-Cortez is just pointing out a trend, honest! Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not walked back her suggestion that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a racist, contrary to what you may have read today. Rather, the freshman congresswoman has merely reworded her original attack so that it now includes more weasel words. Remember: This is supposed to be a clarification. But compare it to what prompted the congresswoman’s remarks to Raju in the first place. Honest!

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