Is anyone in the U.S. persuadable? An author talks to AOC and other ‘Persuaders’ about the movement and how she got her voice heard.
On the campaign trail, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been heralded as the “future” of political activism.
In a Democratic primary, few would argue against the notion that she is the future of a modern-day political movement that has yet to emerge in the U.S. The young woman was, with the exception of her mother, the only member of the first- and second-generation of a family of six that immigrated to the U.S. and later settled in the Bronx.
When she moved to the Bronx, she said, her family encountered racism and she was told she was not allowed to play in a certain field and that she would never be able to play the violin, which was a dream of hers since birth.
Although one can’t ignore Ocasio-Cortez’s ethnic background, the story of her immigration is certainly not unique.
In New York and other cities, many young women are being held back from pursuing a career, even in fields in which there is no discrimination based on gender. And the struggle is not limited to New York.
Ocasio-Cortez, like many women of color, grew up in a family steeped in anti-Semitic beliefs.
“I felt a lot of hatred from my family,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who grew up in upstate New York in a family that moved around a lot, including in and out of the Bronx. “I was very confused about anti-Semitism.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who identifies as Jewish, learned from that experience to seek empowerment.
“I always had a strong sense of self,” she said. “I feel like being marginalized and not fitting in has been my greatest tool throughout my life. And that is something that I have grown into.”