Smiling ‘Team Mitch’ Supporters Pose Choking Cutout Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
A group of young Mitch MocConnell supporters have been pictured at an annual political picnic in Kentucky appearing to strangle and grope a cardboard cutout of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The group of young males are all sporting ‘Team Mitch’ t-shirts. Most of them appear to be smiling and gesturing towards the cutout of Ocasio-Cortez, while one of them has his hand around the cutout’s throat, apparently as if he is strangling her.
The image circulated on social media:
A number of the young men in the picture were identified by Twitter users, and their social media accounts were subsequently taken down by Twitter for inappropriate postings. One post reportedly had the caption: ‘break me off a piece of that’.
While most instances of the post were removed, at least one Instagram account belonging to a local Republican backer who was also at the picnic had it up for a while afterwards, according to the Huffington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez saw the post, and responded to McConnell on social media.
Hey @senatemajldr – these young men look like they work for you.
Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?
In a statement to HuffPost, spokesperson for McConnell’s campaign, Kevin Golden, said Team Mitch ‘in no way condones any aggressive, suggestive, or demeaning act toward life-sized cardboard cutouts of any gender.’
Golden added the men shown in the pictures are ‘not campaign staff, they’re high-schoolers, and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country.’
On the other hand, if potentially racist and misogynistic actions which arguably portray the harassment of a female Representative, albeit a cardboard cutout, by young people isn’t reported by the media, then such actions may be imitated, the message that people can do this and get away with it will spread, and instances of malicious hatred will become even more widespread. And that should not be allowed to happen.
A number of the high-schoolers were also pictured on the official ‘Team Mitch’ Instagram account proudly holding over-sized cutouts of Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
Another photo from the picnic, which took place just a few days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, appeared to show cardboard gravestones, calling McConnell ‘The Grim Reaper of Socialism’ and displaying a number of his opponents on the fake graves.
Campaign spokesperson Kevin Golden reportedly insisted the gravestones were in homage to a cartoon published by the Louisville Courrier-Journal.
In the wake of the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, Ocasio-Cortez called out Mitch McConnell for ‘sitting’ on a ruling which was passed five months ago by the Senate, but has yet to come into effect.
The ruling was HR8 – the Bipartisan Background Checks Act – which will establish ‘new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals)’ as well as prohibiting ‘a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.’
Several other lawmakers in America, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have urged McConnell to call the Senate back into session so they can revisit the HR8 bill.
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