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AOC & Yoho

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Representative Ocasio-Cortez, best known as “AOC”, was called disgusting, crazy and dangerous by Representative Yoho. He was apparently upset because she expressed agreement with the plausible claim that poverty is linked to crime rates in New York City.  As Yoho walked away from AOC, he was overheard calling her a “fucking bitch.” I am not going to rush to AOC’s defense like a knight in shining armor; she is an able champion and can slay her own dragons. In response to this insult, she displayed strength of character, courage, and a concern for others. As such, she stood in stark contrast with President Trump, who responds to even just criticism with an unbalanced display of weakness, dishonesty and self-obsession. As should be expected, people did step up to defend Yoho and attack AOC. As would also be expected, many of these appeared on Facebook. One interesting example involved making the claim that AOC and her supporters think that calling people racist and sexist is acceptable. This was juxtaposed against Yoho just using “naughty words.” The closing point was to sarcastically note that AOC had surely never used such words. There is a lot going on in there. As a rhetorical tactic, the move is clever—the idea is that AOC is unjustly mad at Yoho because she does worse things (calling people sexist and racist) and she is also a hypocrite because she has also used such words. But this rests on an attempt at a false equivalence. If someone is a racist, sexist or white supremacist, then noting this fact is morally fine. Speaking truth of evil is generally a good action. To use an obvious analogy, testifying that a murderer is a murderer is generally a good action. But calling someone a “fucking bitch” is a very different sort of thing. Laying aside the problem that the language is unprofessional, it is a very personal attack and does not seem to call out any specific moral problem with the person. So, calling a racist a racist is rather different from. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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