AOC & Boyfriend Give Advice on “Combating Racism as a White Person”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a rare appearance with boyfriend Riley Roberts while taking questions from fans in an Instagram story Friday night.
In the screencast captured by the New York Post, the topic was clearly labeled by AOC’s social-media team as “Riley’s tips on combating racism as a White person.”
“They don’t think that they’re racist, but they also don’t know some of the things they believe or say are and can be racist.”
“I think it’s helpful and important to talk to other white people about racism, and I think a lot of people, they don’t want to be racist,” Roberts, 30, offered as Ocasio-Cortez sat beside him.
Their web lecture didn’t offer particulars on what the couple defines as racist, or who gets to decide what is and is not racist.
Roberts suggested telling racist white friends that they were not racist, but merely held “wrong” opinions.
“One of the effective ways is just to talk and kind of help teach them about why some of the things they believe or say or think are wrong — not necessarily racist — but that they’re wrong and that will sort of chip away and contribute to some development in this area but not necessarily take somebody from being a racist to not being a racist in one conversation,” he said.
As his girlfriend rocketed to become one of the loudest voices in the Democratic Party, Roberts has stayed mostly silent on the sidelines. The two first met while as students at Boston University, where he earned degrees in sociology and finance. He currently works as a web developer.
Roberts hasn’t been completely absent from the campaign though. In 2017, he was paid $6,000 for consulting work from Brand New Congress, a political action committee that helped launched Ocasio-Cortez’s political career.
The group was founded by her former chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti.