Ocasio-Cortez knocks McCarthy after he claimed critical race theory 'goes against everything' MLK taught

Ocasio-Cortez knocks McCarthy after he claimed critical race theory 'goes against everything' MLK taught
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezThe Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Biden, Democrats risk everything unless they follow the Clinton pivot (they won't) Harris takes central role in climate fight MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyTrump calls Liz Cheney a 'smug fool' Republican holds 11-point lead in Ohio race to replace Stivers: poll Cheney presses Republicans to back Bannon contempt vote MORE (R-Calif.) after he claimed in a recent interview that teachings of critical race theory “go against everything” civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. taught.  

“Critical race theory goes against everything Martin Luther King has ever told us, 'Don't judge us by the color of our skin,' and now they're embracing it,” McCarthy said in a clip of a recent interview he tweeted on Monday.

In a series of tweets later that evening, Ocasio-Cortez pushed back against the claim, while also knocking other opponents of critical race theory — which asserts that racism is embedded in the country’s institutions — who have similarly cited the same message from King to criticize the concept.


“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of a sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote, citing a quote from King in 1967 in the first of a series of tweets.

“This quote of King’s is not from an early work. It was one of his last words, from ‘Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?’ If all sorts of folks who claim ‘what MLK would do’ actually studied his work, they would understand he was a radical. And an anticapitalist, too,” she wrote.


In a pair of follow-up tweets later on late Monday, Ocasio-Cortez noted that King, who was assassinated in 1968, was “murdered for confronting white supremacy.”

“Today GOP who are gutting the very Voting Rights Act King worked for want you to believe he’d support mass disenfranchisement and teaching of racial ignorance. They should read the books they’re trying to ban,” she continued.

The Hill has reached out to McCarthy’s office for comment.

Over the past several months, Republican lawmakers in a growing number of states have passed legislation banning the classroom teachings of concepts such as an individual should feel discomfort, guilt or anguish due to their race or sex, or that a person by virtue their race or sex bears responsibility for past actions committed in the past by those of the same race or sex.

A number of prominent conservatives advancing such legislation have done so while attacking critical race theory, though in many cases the measures do not specifically name the concept.

With the passage of a bill with similar language that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law last month, the governor called the legislation a “strong move to abolish critical race theory in Texas,” despite the law not outright mentioning the theory.

Education leaders and experts on the theory have spoken out against similar measures, calling them unnecessary and misleading, while also noting that the concept is generally not taught in K-12 classes.