Freshman lawmaker Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) participated in an NAACP forum Wednesday evening where she proudly declared that “the squad” — the nickname given to her, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) — is not an “insurgent cohort,” but representative of the American people.
Pressley was responding to a remark from the forum moderator, Angela Rye, about how Republican Dan Bishop, who defeated Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District Tuesday evening, gave a “shoutout” to “the squad” in his victory speech. He said that his victory rejected the “radical liberal policies” pushed by the far-left “squad.”
“In this Democratic majority congress, we have been doing our job and our work has been directly informed by the people, and so, not only did we come in with an agenda that was informed by the people that we met and built and coalitioned with, when that person says that his victory is an indictment against the squad,” Pressley said, mentioning Bishop’s victory speech.
“First of all, the squad is all of y’all,” Pressley continued. “It’s an indictment against the American people. Because that’s what we’re representative of. We are not some insurgent cohort of a gang, which by the way, those implied characterizations are racially not even coded — they are just racist.”
Pressley went on to say how, as a “squad,” they were the disruptors of the campaign world because they “challenged conventional wisdom and assumptions” of how to win elections.
“So people will characterize and frame us as disruptive, but if you were in the tech world, you would consider that disruption innovation,” she said.
She stressed that if she did not have an “intersectional team” filled with “multicultural cohorts” when running for office, she would not have made the same decisions with her campaign that would have led to her election to Congress.
“If I didn’t have an intersectional team, if I didn’t have a multicultural, you know, queer every gender identity expression, multigenerational cohort of people committed to actualizing our shared values, we would have made different strategic decisions with our campaign and I would not be sitting here,” Pressley said.