Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is not a first-round draft pick in the book of former President Barack Obama.
Obama left the wacky socialist off his long list of “first-wave” endorsements for the November election.
Few of the names in the four-page list posted on Obama’s Twitter feed are recognizable, but hard leftists likely expected one name they would recognize: that of the former barmaid called AOC.
One possible reason Obama passed her over, at least for now? She doesn’t think a statute of St. Damien De Veuster, the Belgian priest who died of leprosy after his long ministry to the lepers of Molokai in Hawaii, belongs in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
Damien is a white man and a “colonizer,” and so presumably must be removed.
Obama endorsed more than 100 candidates for federal and state office.
Six are New Yorkers: Dana Balter, Jamaal Bowman, Antonio Delgado, Jackie Gordon, Mondaire Jones, and Max Rose. Delgado and Rose are incumbents.
Aside from suggesting that St. Damien should be removed from the Capitol, AOC wants to restrict military recruitment in online gaming, which did not go over well with fellow Democrat Rose.
“Rose, a 33-year-old Afghanistan War veteran, clashed with the 30-year-old AOC last week over her attempt to restrict military recruitment online,” the New York Post reported.
“This is incredibly insulting as it perpetuates the limousine liberal trope that soldiers are idiots who only get duped into enlisting,” Rose told The Post.
The House rejected the novice’s measure 292-126.
Trying to push measures such as that one isn’t the only reason Ocasio-Cortez is also called Occasional-Cortex.
She also wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to cite another example.
Father Damien Must Go
But the latest ridiculous utterance concerns St. Damien (picture below) — also called Damien the Leper and the subject of a biography by director-screenwriter John Farrow, actress Mia Farrow’s father.
He’s too white and too male.
“We have 100+ statues and portraits in the Capitol,” she tweeted. “Almost all of them are of white men. Every single statue there could be of a canonized saint and that *still* doesn’t change the fact that the erasure of women & BIPOC from American history is a feature of white supremacy.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued the tirade on Instagram: “Even when we select figures to tell the stories of colonized places, it is the colonizers and settlers whose stories are told — and virtually no one else.”
Check out Hawaii’s statue. It’s not Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, the only Queen Regnant of Hawaii, who is immortalized and whose story is told. It is Father Damien.
This isn’t to litigate each and every individual statue, but to point out the patterns that have emerged among the totality of them in who we are taught to deify in our nation’s Capitol: virtually all men, all white, and mostly both. This is what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like!
The problem for Ocasio-Cortez? Hawaiians do not and did not agree.
Dallas Carter, a Catholic catechist and native Hawaiian, told the Catholic News Agency that Hawaiians don’t share the New York radical’s opinion.
“Any Hawaiian here who is aware of their history — which most Hawaiians are would absolutely, Catholic or not, defend the legacy of Damien as a man who was embraced by the people, and who is a hero to us because of his love for the Hawaiian people,” Carter told the Catholic News Agency. “We did not judge him by the color of his skin. We judged him by the love that he had for our people.”
St. Damien, a Belgian member of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, landed in Hawaii in 1864. After lepers were banished to Molokai, Damien volunteered to be their priest in 1873. He served at the colony the rest of his life. He died after contracting the bacterial infection, now curable, in 1889.
When Pope Benedict XVI canonized Damien in 2009, Obama, who was born on Oahu (though some dispute this), offered this assessment, CNA observed: “Fr. Damien has also earned a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians. I recall many stories from my youth about his tireless work there to care for those suffering from leprosy who had been cast out.”
But for Ocasio-Cortez, the only thing that matters was Damien’s sex and race, which, like the leprosy that killed him, are diseases that must be exiled from the Capitol.
Image: AP Images
R. Cort Kirkwood is a long-time contributor to The New American and a former newspaper editor.