Rep. AOC’s IG live was to remind us of the gravity of the insurrection and impeachment
“When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) promised to divulge more details from the day of insurrection at the Capitol, and nearly a month later, she did. On the night of Feb. 2, she took to Instagram Live to give her followers more details of the violent day that resulted in several deaths, and for AOC in particular, it resurfaced trauma from her past.
Following the insurrection, she voiced repeatedly that she wouldn’t stay silent on the matter, especially when it is the driving reason behind former President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. Just days after the riot, she posted a previous IG live wherein she told viewers she had a “close encounter,” on that day.
Because of security concerns, AOC wasn’t able to get into all the details. In her most recent IG live, she also said she hadn’t let viewers in on absolutely everything, but another reason for the delay was revealed minutes into her live broadcast: Trauma.
It was then that AOC publicly shared for the first time that she is a sexual assault survivor. Getting caught in the middle of an insurrection had resurfaced the compounded trauma.
Throughout his presidency, Trump made AOC the target of much of his disparaging remarks towards the progressive movement and her policies, thereby making her the target for his fans that now see her as the enemy.
It follows the same pattern of House Democrats and leaders of municipalities where the GOP disputed Biden’s wins — Trump’s incessant comments via Twitter and calls to action in his speeches to “stand by” and attack should things not go as planned.
It was this that AOC highlighted throughout her IG live: that in the days leading up to the insurrection, there were multiple signs that trouble was brewing. On the eve of Insurrection, she even said that there was no answer to members of Congress who inquired about a safety plan.
Now those same members of Congress — Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, among others — who encouraged the crowds and created the dangerous environment want to make everyone forget and cool the situation, all during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, and not even a month since the insurrection occurred.
Rep. AOC did not share her sexual assault as a way to garner some strange semblance of pity or attention. She did it to make an equation between manipulation tactics performed by sexual abusers and those who abused democracy.
“The reason I say this and the reason I’m getting emotional in this moment is because these folks who tell us to move on, that it’s not a big deal, that we should forget what’s happened or even telling us to apologize — these are the same tactics of abusers. And, um, I’m a survivor of sexual assault,” she said.
She later added that her story “isn’t the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened,” Rep. AOC wrote on Twitter following her IG live. “It is just one story of many of those whose lives were endangered at the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people who chose personal gain above democracy.”
My story isn’t the only story, nor is it the central story of what happened on Jan 6th.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2021
It is just one story of many of those whose lives were endangered at the Capitol by the lies, threats, and violence fanned by the cowardice of people who chose personal gain above democracy.
The sexual assault is the aspect of her story that most outlets are focusing on, and it is valid, moving and integral to the point she is making.
Though it may be misconstrued.
AOC’s IG live wasn’t a call for pity or attention. It serves as a reminder, nearly a month after the insurrection, of the gravity of what the president and dozens of GOP leaders did that directly correlates to AOC hiding in a closet and contemplating the end of her life on Jan. 6.
Urged by her team, AOC sought shelter in a closet of her personal office at the Capitol after an unsettling encounter with a yet-to-be-identified Capitol police officer.
He had been banging on the doors of her office yelling, “Where is she!” with what AOC described as “a tremendous amount of anger and hostility.”
After vague directions to evacuate, her team was unable to find the extraction point, and they found a place to seek shelter in Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-CA) office, who herself wasn’t aware of the proximity of insurrectionists at that moment.
On the same night of AOC’s IG live, Porter herself went on MSNBC to recount what happened that day, and shared her office.
"I'm a mom. I'm calm. I have everything we need. We can live for like a month in this office. And she said, 'I hope I get to be a mom, I hope I don’t die today,’" Porter said.
Later, Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) repeated AOC’s concerns of lack of safety measures on the same network.
“They had incited an insurrection, and were live-tweeting our whereabouts. Some of them continue to pose a threat to everyone who works in the Capitol. They must be expelled,” Jones wrote.
As the calls for removing Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have slowly subsided, so have the calls in the public and Senate to impeach the former president.
AOC’s live, boosted by congressional peers and other public figures serves to remind everyone that Jan. 6 wasn’t that long ago.