El Borde / CC BY

July 26, 2020; Guardian

When Rep. Ted Yoho, (R-FL), a member of the Tea Party caucus, accosted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on the steps of the US Capitol, he brought a full-blown case of misogynistic entitlement with him.

Waving his finger in her face and calling her “disgusting” and “out of your freakin’ mind” for her political views on policing, he then, in full sight of a reporter from The Hill, called her “a fucking bitch” as she walked away from the tirade.

Later, Ocasio-Cortez and more than a dozen colleagues spoke on the floor of Congress regarding what she called common behavior in a sexist culture of “accepting violence and violent language against women.”

Refusing to accept Yoho’s less-than-adequate apology, in which he insisted his “passion” was misunderstood and called upon his wife and daughters as evidence that he was “cognizant” of his use of language, AOC pointed out that she was a daughter too, and one not raised to take abuse from men.

“Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man,” she said.

Amen to that.

Yoho, apparently believing that nothing has changed in the last decade, called the chance meeting a brief policy discussion and said, “No one was accosted, bullied, or attacked.”

It appears that the nonprofit Bread for the World, where Yoho is a trustee, did not believe that his behavior reflected well on them, asking for and getting his resignation following the incident.

Bread for the World, a 501c4, and its affiliate, Bread for the World Institute, a 501c3 public charity, share the 43 members of their board. The board consists of leaders in different Christian denominations, such as Lutherans, Methodists, and Catholics, along with finance people, academics, and some politicians, including former US Senator Robert Dole (R-KS) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).

According to GuideStar, Bread for the World has 95 employees and a budget of $5 million, with a mission to advocate on issues related to alleviating hunger and poverty. The Institute has no employees, and its mission is “to provide analysis and education on hunger issues in the US and around the world.” When she talked about marginalized people on the Capitol steps, Ocasio-Cortez could well have been speaking to Bread for the World’s mission.

Yoho may not have been on their board for very long; his name is not on the 2018 tax filing, but it is on the organization’s website. His resignation from the board was announced in a statement Saturday.

As reported in the Washington Post, the statement says that the organization was deeply concerned about what they perceived to be his “non-apology.”

Yoho’s “recent actions and words as reported in the media are not reflective of the ethical standards expected of members of our board of directors.” The nonprofit said the decision was taken to confirm “our commitment to coming alongside women and people of color, nationally and globally, as they continue to lead us to a more racially inclusive and equitable world.”

“As a bipartisan Christian organization committed to alleviating hunger and poverty through sound public policies, Bread for the World upholds the values of respect, dignity, and compassion that Jesus calls us to when engaging decision makers from across the political spectrum,” the statement continued.

This board may wish to take another look at how they choose their board members.—Marian Conway