They mistrust the media, rally towards impeachment, and assume the ladies are liars. However these usually are not Trump supporters—these are followers of Andrew Cuomo.
The disgraced New York governor, who resigned final week after a state legal professional normal’s report alleged sexual harassment and misconduct in his workplace, turned a COVID superstar through the first half of the pandemic. Followers, a lot of them ladies, flocked to Fb teams just like the “Andrew Cuomo Fan Membership” (40,000 members), “We Stand With Governor Andrew Cuomo” (1,000 members), and “Pals of Andrew M. Cuomo & Individuals Who Assist Him” (1,400 members).
However as information of the investigation broke in April, together with allegations that Cuomo botched his dealing with of the pandemic in nursing houses and undercounted deaths, many so-called “Cuomosexuals” deserted ship.
The New York Instances reported that Etsy shops were pulling pro-Cuomo merch after his resignation. Lingua Franca, a New York-based label that sells “luxurious truthful commerce sweaters” embroidered with resistance-y slogans announced that it would change “Cuomosexual” tops to “a new phrase of your choice,” free of charge.
One Etsy retailer known as “Harish Gift Shop” sells a dizzying mixture of pro- and anti-Cuomo slogan tees. A high that reads, “Cuomo killed my grandma” lives subsequent to a different they proudly proclaims “Single, Taken, Mentally Relationship Andrew Cuomo,” with a verify mark subsequent to the final possibility. One other comes blazed with the Fox News chyron: “I’m not perverted, I’m simply Italian.”
The proprietor of the shop, who didn’t give their title, instructed The Every day Beast in a message that they’ve solely offered about 20 Cuomo-themed shirts in whole, counting each constructive and damaging ones collectively.
“I’m actually outraged by the information about Cuomo,” the Etsy consumer wrote. “Since then, my design workforce and I’ve give you concepts for shirts towards him with the need to contribute a small function to reclaim justice for individuals who have been harmed by him.”
One other one that runs the CustomBull Etsy shop has provided “Cuomosexual” shirts for “in regards to the final 4-5 months” however has but to promote a single one. Identical goes for the proprietor of 1997ClothingCo: nobody needs to purchase these Cuomo tops, both.
However in a special nook of the web, Cuomo allies stay loud and proud of their assist. In Could, The Wall Avenue Journal reported on one such Facebook group, “Women for Andrew Cuomo.” In line with the Journal, some used the group to assault accusers, others “strategize about fundraising” for the governor, and loads of ladies handled it as a “fan membership.” Fb information discovered that 70 p.c of the customers within the 1,110-person Fb group had been ladies over the age of 55.
Unsurprisingly, the temper has been morose in latest weeks. One member of “Pals of Andrew M. Cuomo & Individuals Who Assist Him” wrote in a submit, “Right now in Walgreens they had been giving the Pfizer booster shots to individuals who certified. They mentioned I needed to have an present situation. I put down simply the phrase coronary heart. I disregarded the phrase damaged. After I received the booster I smiled and thought, that is for you Governor Cuomo, and for those who had been right here you’d have mentioned, atta woman!” (The consumer then clarified that she “truly” qualifies for the booster for unspecified “well being causes.”)
One other individual in “Andrew Cuomo Fan Membership” wrote, “Letitia James & the others simply sacrifice the flawed little lamb our superb Governor Andrew Cuomo.” To punctuate the message, she added photographs of the governor and a few cute inventory pictures of lambs.
On “We STILL assist Andrew Cuomo,” one admin posted a TikTok video displaying a montage of photographs that includes the governor, set to Christina Aguilera’s tune “Ain’t No Different Man.”
On that very same web page, some ladies started posting about sending flowers to the governor’s mansion in Albany. “I simply ordered flowers from the Enchanted Florist,” one wrote final week. “The Governer [sic] ought to obtain them by tomorrow.”
One commenter agreed: “We should always inundate him with flowers!”
An worker who answered the cellphone at The Enchanted Florist wouldn’t give their title or title, however confirmed that “a number of dozen folks have despatched” the governor flowers. “This can be very true and it’s extraordinarily occurring,” the employee mentioned, including. “Each single considered one of them has been a lady. One card included the title of the husband.”
The worker added that The Enchanted Florist will present “free supply” to the governor “for the time interval that he’s [still] there,” or the week and a half Cuomo has left in workplace. “That has every thing to do with enterprise being enterprise,” the employee clarified. “It has nothing to do with the enterprise supporting the governor. I’ve to be very cautious.” 4 different Albany-area flower outlets didn’t report receiving orders to ship to the governor. “
Nobody who posted about sending the governor flowers would communicate to The Every day Beast about their assist for Cuomo. One member of the group urged others to not communicate to a reporter. “Why my husband and I selected to ship flowers is none of her g’dmm enterprise,” she wrote. Directors of the varied teams additionally didn’t reply to requests for remark.
“I’ll simply say that it comes as no shock that there are ladies who shield and defend abusive males,” mentioned Jack Z. Bratich, a professor at Rutgers who research the intersection between popular culture and politics. “It occurs in romantic relationships and in addition in skilled ones. There are a selection of causes for this, however one primary issue is that in patriarchy, ladies’s skill to thrive nonetheless typically depends upon males in energy. Within the Cuomo case, ladies’s political survival might need been hitched to his continued reign, so their skilled funding in him is now in danger.”
The Saturday after Cuomo resigned, a small group of round 11 folks gathered outdoors of the governor’s New York Metropolis workplace on Third Avenue, not removed from the United Nations headquarters. They toted indicators that learn, “Thank You, Governor Cuomo” and “We stand with the governor.” One girl wore a white T-shirt with “#Andy” stamped on the entrance.
“I’m right here at present as a result of I nonetheless assist the governor,” Brenda Torres, a Brooklyn girl who gave her age as “late fifties,” mentioned. “I don’t assume he was given truthful remedy. I don’t assume he obtained the due course of that he ought to have.”
Torres didn’t consider herself as “political” till she received furloughed from her journey firm job final 12 months. Caught at dwelling through the starting of the pandemic, she turned to Cuomo’s well-liked pressers as a method of consolation. She started becoming a member of Fb teams devoted to the governor.
“It was a assist group for all of us to speak and maintain calm,” Torres mentioned. “To debate his briefings when he got here on. OK, he’s calming us down and doing what he must do and telling us what we have to do to remain protected. I wouldn’t name it a fan membership. It’s extra of a assist group.”
Torres doesn’t recognize being known as a “Cuomosexual.” “We take offense to that,” she mentioned. “I’m a supporter, however I’m additionally a severe individual. By the media labeling us Cuomosexuals, what they did was a disservice. We had been the butt of a joke. And we’re not a joke, and we’re not simply ladies. There are males, too. We do have a voice and we need to be heard.”
“He does have that empathy, heat, and it rubs off on you. If he can do it with all of us by way of a tiny little display screen, why can’t we do that with one another?”
— Brenda Torres
Most of Torres’ summer season has been spent attending pro-Cuomo occasions. “I’ve made new pals,” she mentioned. “He’s actually united us, and that’s one of many pretty issues about this challenge. He does have that empathy, heat, and it rubs off on you. If he can do it with all of us by way of a tiny little display screen, why can’t we do that with one another?”
Alongside along with her crew of New York protesters, Torres has grow to be digital buddies with supporters from London, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Germany. She’s despatched letters to Cuomo thanking him, although she doesn’t count on to get something again. “He’s all the time going to be my governor,” Torres mentioned. “There’s not going to be one other one for me.”
Torres mentioned they felt the AG’s report was “flawed,” and that the 11 witnesses alleging sexual harassment weren’t “vetted correctly.” Those that spoke on the rally appeared to agree. Carmen Enriquez, a member of the New York State Democratic Occasion Committee for Meeting District 39, held up a selfie Brittany Commisso, the manager assistant who mentioned Cuomo groped her twice, took with the governor.
“I really like every thing he does, and I believe he’s an excellent individual.”
— Betty Alcivai
In an emotional interview, Commisso told CBS News that she felt Cuomo’s hand “go down my back onto my butt, and he started rubbing it,” proper earlier than the picture was taken. She talked about being “embarrassed” and “nervous” and mentioned she couldn’t cease shaking. Commisso mentioned she moved to sit down on the sofa so she’d have higher management over her physique, and that’s when she snapped the smiling selfie with Cuomo.
On the rally outdoors of his workplace, Enriquez held a blown-up copy of the selfie and attacked Commisso’s credibility, saying she didn’t see “any proof of sexual harassment on this picture.”
Betty Alcivai, a lady from Queens, had been to 3 pro-Cuomo rallies. “I really like every thing he does, and I believe he’s an excellent individual,” she mentioned. She doesn’t imagine the allegations. “I’m a lady. If somebody does one thing to me, I say, ‘Excuse me, for those who do this once more I’ll report that to my supervisor.’ That’s the way it ought to work.”
What do the Cuomo supporters need? A part of their assembly was an unabashed show of affection for his or her governor, one which ended with a fervent chant of, “Cuomo! Cuomo!” They disagree with resignation, however principally simply need folks to know: they exist.
“He’s properly supported,” Torres mentioned. “And that’s the message we need to get on the market, as a result of—no offense—the media, all they do is the damaging. They overlook the constructive, they usually don’t discuss in regards to the positives, the supporters. They don’t come to speak to us, ever, or ask us to come back have a discussion board, dialogue, one thing. It’s by no means occurred. It’s all the time been, let’s report the entire damaging and let’s grow to be the choose, jury, and executioners. It’s like, did you guys overlook the entire good issues he’s executed? Why is it being placed on the again burner?”
As ladies on the Fb teams course of their grief over Cuomo’s resignation, many guarantee one another that the governor will probably be again sometime. “He’s not disappearing, and neither are we,” one wrote.
One other posted an inspirational quote. “Reset, readjust, restart, refocus… as many instances as it’s essential to,” it learn. The consumer captioned the graphic: “This thought jogs my memory of what we would like Governor Cuomo to do.”