Ocasio-Cortez disses ‘thoughts and prayers’ after New Zealand massacre

March 16, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez disses ‘thoughts and prayers’ after New Zealand massacre lev radin / Shutterstock.com

It is not unusual for Democrats to use mass shootings, such as the recent tragedy that left 49 dead in a New Zealand mosque, to push their pro-gun control agenda. Not satisfied with such impropriety, however, one congresswoman stooped to an even lower level.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter on Friday to attack those offering their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the New Zealand tragedy.

The resulting social media backlash prompted her to offer an explanation — it’s the “NRA’s phrase used deflect conversation away from policy change.” That didn’t go over well either, for obvious reasons.

AOC descends to new low

“At 1st I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore,’ Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs.”

The 29-year-old was referring to three other recent mass shootings that also occurred in houses of worship: the 2018 Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue that left 11 dead; the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting at the First Baptist Church that left 27 dead; and the 2015 Charleston shooting at the Emmanuel A.M.E. Church that left nine dead.

But it was the way that she concluded the tweet which crossed the line: “What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?” she wrote.

Social media backlash

Twitter users, unsurprisingly, did not take too kindly to Ocasio-Cortez’s insensitivity, with many pointing to the insensitivity of the remark. “This is incredibly insensitive to my Muslim brothers and sisters who were slain in cold blood while they were literally praying because they want to be closer to their creator and they want to become better people,” wrote Siraj Hashmi.

“Yes the one way to show empathy for people murdered at their place of worship is to mock prayer,” said Twitter user Ben McDonald.

Jerry Dunleavy, on the other hand, took the opportunity to educate Ocasio-Cortez on the purpose of prayer. “Lots of people — Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims — are lifting our Muslim brothers & sisters up in prayer tonight,” he tweeted. “We’re praying for the victims & their families and are praying for the strength to make a better world. Prayer unites. Prayer heals. Prayer is good.”

AOC’s not good enough explanation

After the backlash went on for several hours, Ocasio-Cortez, around 1 am, decided that it was necessary to give some explanation for her original statement.

“‘Thoughts and prayers’ is [a] reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect [the] conversation away from policy change during tragedies,” she tweeted. “Not directed to PM Ardern, who[m] I greatly admire.”

Many, however, remain unsatisfied, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a former Navy Seal who lost his eye in Afghanistan.

“If you find yourself using the tragedy in New Zealand to take backhanded swipes at conservatives in America – many of my colleagues already have – then you really have no shame and you are part of the problem,” he wrote. “It should be easy for us to stand united and condemn terrorism.”

Indeed, it should be easy for Americans to stand together against terrorism. But, for such Democrats as Ocasio-Cortez, solidarity in tragedies, along with everything else, comes in a distant second to their agenda.


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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers is a writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a JD from the University of Connecticut.