Ocasio-Cortez Embarrasses America

nrkbeta, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Joining other progressives, Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) is participating in a boycott of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s joint address to Congress.

The New York Democrat used Twitter to encourage fellow lawmakers to join her boycott if they support “pluralism, tolerance, and freedom of speech.”

Ocasio-Cortez brought attention to Modi’s past ban from entering the United States, as well as the State Department’s reports on India’s religious freedom record and its current position on the Press Freedom Index.

Ocasio-Cortez provided a statement describing the joint address as “the most prestigious invitations and honors the United States Congress can extend.”

Instead, the New York Democrat suggested that the U.S. shouldn’t “do so for individuals with deeply troubling human rights records,” highlighting that should especially true for those who the State Department “concluded are engaged in systemic human rights abuses” aimed at religious minorities and oppressed communities.

A day earlier, on Tuesday (June 20), Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.), who are both Muslim, announced that they would not be attending the Indian leader’s speech. Ocasio-Cortez made a similar statement.

Taking to Twitter, Tlaib wrote that Modi’s “long history of human rights abuses [and] anti-democratic actions,” that targeted Muslims and religious minorities and his censorship of journalists is “unacceptable.”

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Omar criticized the Indian Prime Minister’s government for repressing “religious minorities” and encouraging “violent Hindu nationalist groups” and his actions targeting journalists and human rights advocates “with impunity.”

Although Democrats in the House and Senate have called on President Joe Biden to discuss human rights with Modi, the upcoming address is expected to be largely attended by lawmakers.