I’m not one for hero worship when it comes to politicians. I mean, I supported John Edwards, so that pretty definitively taught me to never love any candidate too strongly. So as much as I agree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s politics, and appreciate her confident and passionate approach to disseminating those beliefs to the electorate, I’ve tried to avoid getting too wrapped up in the cult of personality that has developed around her. I mean, yeah, she’s a great spokesperson for progressive ideals, but politics—like life itself—is a dirty, tricky thing, and it’s best to never grow too enamored with any single person involved with it. I was cool with that, that was my plan, and I was totally going to stick to it forever, even if she eventually grew into a genuinely transformative leader.
And then she had to go and tweet this:
If you don’t know, All Elite Wrestling is a new wrestling promotion that got off to an amazing start this past weekend. I was at its first show in Las Vegas on Saturday night, and it’s the best time I’ve had at a wrestling show since watching the Miracle Violence Connection beat the Steiner Brothers for the WCW World Tag Team Championships at the Omni in 1992. AEW isn’t just an exciting new company that promises to unite the best of modern-day wrestling with classic booking philosophies and advanced statistical analysis; it’s also one that refuses to be bound by restrictive and outdated notions of race, sexuality or gender. That’s what Ocasio-Cortez is responding to in the above tweet. At a backstage press conference after the show, Cody Rhodes, one of AEW’s executive vice-presidents, responds to a question from former Olympian and wrestling legend Mark Henry about the promotion’s commitment to diversity. AEW’s roster includes a gay wrestler, the first transgender wrestler to perform for a major American promotion, and wrestlers of various ethnicities and nationalities. Rhodes mentions how his relationship with his wife, Brandi Rhodes, who is African-American, affected his own perception on race issues in America, and that’s what Ocasio-Cortez is homing in on. Rhodes admits that he used to abide by that old canard of “not seeing color,” which, as Brandi pointed out to him, means he’s ignorant of what life is like for people who aren’t white. One can easily argue that it’s disappointing that simply becoming aware of the problems others face due to the color of their skin can be seen as progress in the year 2019, but this is the world we live in, and it’s one that has proven itself, time and again, to not be particularly sensitive towards or aware of racial disparity and similar issues facing society. Like most of his press conference, Cody’s answer is disarming in its candor and notable for its depth, and it’s no surprise that Ocasio-Cortez would be impressed by it.
It’s still shocking that she would even become aware of this interview, though, much less share it on social media. If it turns out that she’s a diehard fan of pro wrestling, I think I’ll have to permanently scrap my stance against loving a politician too much.
If you want to see the complete press conference from Cody Rhodes, you can watch it below. And, uh, just ignore that beefy bearded boy in the background.