OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Reaction to Rush Limbaugh receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom? First of all, the presidential Medal of Freedom is an extraordinarily sacred award. We’re talking about putting someone on the same level as Rosa Parks, you know, for example, in terms of their contributions to American progress. Rush Limbaugh is a virulent racist. But even just on top of that, to do it in the middle of a State of the Union and not even dignify it with its own ceremony as it has, there’s all sorts of norms that are being violated, not just for people’s humanity but also it truly just cheapens the value of it. Also him pretending to be surprised was such a joke. This has been news all day. There have been multiple reports from multiple news outlets saying that Rush Limbaugh was going to receive the Medal of Freedom, and then Trump announced it and he had to like, you know, pretend that this was some kind Oprah moment. It was so disingenuous. And to do that and to give it to Rush Limbaugh, when there were plenty of people in that audience that have contributed positively to the fabric of American society, much more, frankly, than he has, you know, but it’s red meat to his base, Trump knows what he’s doing and he wants to assert that Rush Limbaugh is somehow on the same level as Rosa Parks, and it’s truly nauseating.
And this is one of the many reasons why I did not go, you know. Especially when he talks about socialism, you know, for a President who seems to care so much about socialism, he really doesn’t seem to give a damn about introducing fascism into the United States. And that’s a real aspect. Hey, Deco, that’s right, isn’t it? He’s out here, he is getting pretty excited. All right, so, let’s see, reaction to so many people of color being highlighted? I think, again, Trump knows exactly what he’s doing. He has started, Donald Trump has started giving out cash to black Americans at his rallies. This whole State of the Union was like a game show where he was handing out prizes and surprises and reality TV moments, and this is exactly his political agenda. And you know, this is it’s not just for political reasons, but one of the reasons why I find it so frustrating that the rights of people of color are constantly negotiated and on the chopping block in politics in general is, you know, this is this is one of the concerns, because when suddenly the right sort of immigrants are controversial or issues pertaining to black Americans are controversial, but issues facing white Americans are not controversial and their bread and butter issues, this is what starts to happen in our political discourse.
And I think that we need to be very careful about this, because it’s extraordinarily deliberate and it’s being done with a very specific agenda that — you know, this also is in line with the fact that Trump decided to make a — kind of focus criminal justice reform advertisement and the Superbowl. He’s being very deliberate in trying to — ooh, isn’t that right, Deco? He’s trying to look like he’s being great for the black community, for communities of color, et cetera.”