Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-NY) and her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, took to Instagram to talk about “combatting racism” last Friday night. Roberts, who has been known to shy away from the spotlight while his girlfriend is in office, offered his advice.

Ocasio-Cortez redirected the question to her boyfriend when one of her Instagram followers asked for “tips on combatting racism as a white person.”

Robert’s response didn’t offer any explanation on what they define as racism or who is or is not racist, but encouraged people to talk to white people about it.

“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,” said Roberts.

“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,” said Roberts. “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.”


Roberts, who is currently a web developer, earned a dual degree in finance and Sociology at Boston University, where he met AOC. He has been entirely out of Ocasio-Cortez’s political career except for when he earned $6,000 for consulting work from Brand New Congress, a political action committee founded by Saikat Chakrabarti.