Ocasio-Cortez Compares People Mocking the Green New Deal to Civil Rights Opposition

April 4, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) on Wednesday compared people who oppose the Green New Deal to white Americans who opposed the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Ocasio-Cortez answered several questions during an Instagram live session, including a question about climate change that appeared to be in jest. Someone asked the freshman Democrat how many years were left until the world ends, prompting her to go on a rant against people who mock climate change and the Green New Deal resolution that she co-sponsored.

"We have twelve years left to cut emissions by at least 50 percent if not more," Ocasio-Cortez said. "For everyone who wants to make a joke about that, you may laugh, but you're grandkids will not, so understand that the internet documents everything."

She then went on a tangent about looking back in history books of the civil rights movement and seeing the white people holding signs against allowing black people to vote.

"They would hold up these bigoted signs and they would hold up signs that said things like 'What about white rights?' and all of this stuff in the 1950's and 1960's, so just know that in the present day there are a lot of people who hide the fact that their families and that their grandparents fought against principles of equal rights in the United States, not 100 years ago, not 80 years ago, but in this generation's lifetime," Ocasio-Cortez said.

"While a lot of people can hide that their grandparents did that in the civil rights movement, you should also know that the internet documents everything and your grandchildren will not be able to hide the fact that you fought against acknowledging and taking bold actions on climate change," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "People who are trying to mock and delay this moment, I mean—I just feel bad for you. I just pity you for your role in history right now."

This isn't the first time that Ocasio-Cortez has compared the movement to combat climate change to another major movement in U.S. history. Last Friday, Ocasio-Cortez compared the fight to combat climate change to fighting a "systemic threat to our country" on par with World War II or the Cold War. She made similar comments while campaigning last October by comparing the climate change fight to how the United States defeated the Nazis in World War II.

She also referenced the civil rights movement back in December while talking about climate change, saying, "This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil rights movement of our generation. That is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require."