On Thursday, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made fun of people who are getting “cancelled,” characterizing them as being entitled and unliked.

Responding to an open letter in Harper’s Magazine defending “open debate,” AOC shared a series of tweets defending the idea of “cancel culture,” a bullying tactic used by left-wing activists to destroy political opponents who disagree with them.

AOC: ‘The term ‘cancel culture’ comes from entitlement’

“People who are actually ‘cancelled’ don’t get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets. This has been a public service announcement,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “The term ‘cancel culture’ comes from entitlement – as though the person complaining has the right to a large, captive audience,& one is a victim if people choose to tune them out. Odds are you’re not actually cancelled, you’re just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked.”


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“I have an entire TV network dedicated to stoking hatred of me,” AOC continued, appearing to refer to Fox News and its most popular host, Tucker Carlson. “A white supremacist w/ a popular network show regularly distorts me in dangerous ways, & it’s a normal part of my existence to get death threats from their audience. You don’t see me complaining abt ‘cancel culture.’”

“Many of the people actually ‘cancelled’ are those long denied a fair hearing of their ideas to begin w/: Palestinian human rights advocates, Abolitionists, Anticapitalists, Anti-imperialists,” she tweeted. “Not spicy ‘contrarians’ who want to play devils advocate w/ your basic rights in the NYT.”


Ocasio-Cortez slammed for her extreme left-wing intolerance: ‘we also have a government official here advocating for censorship’

Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets were widely criticized.

“This is patently false and easily disproved — we also have a government official here advocating for censorship and shutting down a public letter standing up for free speech and open debate,” commentator Sasha Stone tweeted. “That is hard core overreach.”


“People getting their characters smeared for dangling their hand out the window and losing their job, journalists silenced out of fear of getting fired, a research analyst fired for posting a tweet of a study people didn’t like,” Stone continued. “You’re doing worse than complaining about cancel culture. You are now advocating for it at a government level, which is dangerous…”


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Harper’s open letter on ‘Justice and Open Debate’

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were in response to a number of high profile liberals signed a letter from Harper’s Magazine on “Justice and Open Debate.”

The letter began, “Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts.”

“But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity,” it continued. “As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second.”


After blaming Donald Trump for supposedly threatening democracy, the letter focused on the illiberalism of the “woke” left.

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter stated. “While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

“We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters,” the letter noted, defending free speech.

“The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation,” the letter insisted. “The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.”

You can read the entire letter here.