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July 26, 2020

Yoho is a Yahoo

by Anne Paddock

Over the past few days the public has watched and listened to the back and forth discussions about the incident that allegedly happened between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Ted Yoho on the steps of the Capitol.  It’s a she-said, he-said kind of moment that goes to the heart of the hatred and intolerance some people have for others who have differing opinions, except that it went too far.

Without getting into all the details and the carefully chosen words, I will say say that having a difference of opinion is quite normal in any political arena. But this is not really about opposing political views but instead about how people handle co-workers who think differently than themselves. Having a discussion about beliefs is acceptable and can sometimes even prove to be enlightening if people are willing to listen and consider another person’s opinion but all too often, one party is impatient, close minded, or feels threatened or weakened and resorts to insult, disrespect, or simply bad behavior….and, that’s not ok. Not ever.

I believe AOC. I reject Yoho’s claim that “no one was accosted, bullied, or attacked.” Any man who walks up to a woman whose opinion he disagrees with and tries to demean her because of her beliefs is quite frankly, a yahoo (defined as a “rude, noisy, or violent person”) and should be called out. People have a right to disagree but it totally matters how the disagreement is handled. Yoho approached AOC and a reporter confirmed he called her “disgusting” and a “fucking bitch” although Yoho denies this, as does Roger Williams, another Congressman who was with Yoho during the confrontation. That Williams’ office put out a press release that stated he did not hear what was said in the conversation is nearly impossible to believe. The man was standing right next to Yoho, and last time I looked, Williams wasn’t wearing a hearing aid.

That Yoho calls his status as a husband and father as a defense is despicable.  As AOC pointed out, being a husband and father doesn’t make anyone a decent man.  If that were the case, we wouldn’t have domestic abuse, child abuse, child neglect, or the government having to step in when people don’t do what they’re supposed to do. So man up Yoho. And, you, too Williams.  You both should be setting the example and leading the way and not acting like entitled white males who feel threatened by a woman who thinks differently than you do.

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