The Atlantic

It Wasn’t ‘Verbal Blackface.’ AOC Was Code-Switching.

Her critics are misreading the linguistic reality of America’s big cities.
Source: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been accused of a lot, but the latest charge is especially piquant. Apparently, the new representative of some of the most multiethnic neighborhoods in the United States has engaged in “verbal blackface.”

The supposed offense occurred when she spoke to the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network last week and sprinkled some elements of Black English into her speech. “I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” she said, also stretching “wrong” out a bit and intoning in a way sometimes referred to as a “drawl,” but which is also part of the Black English tool kit.

John Cardillo of Newsmax , “In case you’re wondering, this is what blackface sounds like,” while that Ocasio-Cortez, in this speech, “speaks in an accent that she never uses.” Lawrence Jones, a Fox News contributor and black American, a Twitter hashtag, #WedontTalkLikeThat.

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