Mitch McConnell Sparks Outrage After Separating Black People and Americans
In SummaryThe U.S. Senate minority leader is trending on Twitter after making a distinction between “Black people” and “Americans” when discussing voting rights.
Mitch McConnell is being called out on Twitter after implying African Americans are not Americans.
The Senate minority made the incendiary comment while speaking alongside members of Republican leadership on Wednesday night after a vote to move the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate floor failed, according to CNN.
McConnell was asked about concerns of voters of color after failure to pass the legislation by Latino Rebels correspondent Pablo Manriquez.
“Well, the concerns misplaced,” McConnell responded. “Because, if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
A 19-second snippet of the politician’s answer was uploaded to Twitter by user Brendan Egan. It has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.
Several people on the social media platform began to highlight the existence of two Americas and the implicit bias of our leaders. Some cited writer Toni Morrison’s infamous 1992 quote, “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”
Former Kentucky Rep. Charles Booker shared the McConnell clip tweeting, “Being Black doesn’t make you less of an America, no matter what this craven man thinks.”
A tally by the Brennan Center for Justice reports last year, 19 states passed more than 30 laws to aid in voter suppression. Many of these restrictive laws disproportionately impact the elderly and BIPOC communities.
Named for the late civil rights icon, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would allow a review of changes in election laws in states with a history of discrimination by the Justice Department.
In a White House statement, President Joe Biden expressed disappointment in failure to pass the legislation. “I am profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed — but I am not deterred,” he said.
Biden continued, “My Administration will never stop fighting to ensure that the heart and soul of our democracy — the right to vote — is protected at all costs.”