Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed back against the stock response to mass shootings typical of the NRA Friday after the white-supremacist terror attacks that left 49 dead and many others injured in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Ocasio-Cortez criticized the issuing of “thoughts and prayers” in place of working towards meaningful policy change, attaching a statement from New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The congresswoman followed up her critique of hollow, passive reaction to terrorism with a call-out of some evident factors that play into right-wing extremist violence. “This is a time of great vulnerability for our communities,” she tweeted. “We must come together, fight for each other, & stand up for neighbors. Isolation, dehumanizing stereotypes, hysterical conspiracy theories, & hatred ultimately lead to the anarchy of violence. We cannot stand for it.”
Ocasio-Cortez later qualified her statement again in order to clarify her words amidst bad-faith interpretations, as NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch attempted to paint the congresswoman as anti-prayer.
Ocasio-Cortez went back on Twitter to explain that when she referenced “thoughts and prayers,” she meant to call out the NRA’s stock response to tragedy often used to steer conversation away from policy change.
Later posts from the congresswoman called for “courageous love” extended to local Muslim communities, articles on the dangers of online extremism and white supremacy, and reminders of our country’s still-lingering “Muslim Ban.”