Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said supporters of President Donald Trump might be racist, but are unaware that they’re racist because they simply aren’t aware of how racism works.
In recent remarks made during the “Pod Save America” podcast, the freshman lawmaker wouldn’t initially commit to answering whether she believed Trump supporters are racist.
She also argued the notion that asking if Trump supporters are racist during an interview is something of a trap.
“I don’t necessarily want to vilify people who vote for Trump, but at the same time, you also need to call racism out,” host Jon Favreau said.
Ocasio-Cortez responded, “The biggest mistake that we have, and it’s a trap that’s set by the right whether intentionally or unintentionally, is just the frame of asking ‘Is blank racist?'”
“It’s not about asking whether Trump voters are racist,” she continued, “We need to talk about racism, not racists.”
She added, “Trump relied on a coalition and a core part of that coalition were racists building a coalition with all sorts of other people that could be susceptible to racist views if they were blanketed and layered and made people feel good about it not being a racist thing.
“And so there are a lot of people supporting Trump that genuinely don’t believe that they are racist because we do not talk about or educate people on recognizing racism,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, pointing out that “because we do not do that, it just allows itself to just — we get caught in this debate of ‘Is something racist?’ and then a person uses their defensiveness and they say, ‘Well, it’s not racist because I’m not racist, and I believe this thing because it’s economic in nature.”
The democratic socialist lawmaker suggested that white people should take it upon themselves to educate their fellow white people about race.
“It’s going to take a lot of white people,” she insisted. “We need white people right now to do the work … it’s white people talking to other white people about race. And that I think is a lot of what we’re going to need.”
A version of this story appears on The Blaze website.