U.S. Rep.of New York said in an interview Tuesday that some marginalized communities “have no choice but to riot” when they’ve been deprived of resources and a future.
“Once you have a group that is marginalized and marginalized and marginalized, then you create — once someone doesn’t have access to clean water, they have no choice but to riot. And it doesn’t have to be that way,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with the “Ebro in the Morning” show on New York’s Hot 97 radio station.
Her comment came during a discussion about Israel and Palestine, but Ocasio-Cortez said riots could be expected in many other situations, including some in the U.S.
“I’m not even talking about Palestinians,” she said. “I’m talking about communities in poverty in the United States, I’m talking about Latin America, I’m talking about all over the world.”
“We experienced times like that in our history in this country,” she added, referencing riots in her hometown of the Bronx in the 1960s.
“Social destabilization is what happens when people do not have a plan or feel like there’s no vision for their future.”
Ocasio-Cortez also pushed back on the accusations from President Trump and other GOP leaders that she is anti-Semitic because of her criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. She said the Trump administration has engaged in its own anti-Semitism and uses its defense of Israel as one of its “cards” to cover for it.
“There’s this conversation that gets started — and frankly, it’s advanced by the right wing — that, if you engage in any critique, that must mean that you are against the existence of a nation,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But we don’t engage in any other country like that. We don’t talk about the U.K. like that. We don’t talk about China like that. We don’t talk about the United States, we don’t talk about — if you critique any other country, they don’t say, ‘Do you believe in Britain’s right to exist?'”