Mitch McConnell Under Fire After Distinguishing Between African Americans And Americans
Republican senator Mitch McConnell has come under fire after he appeared to imply that African Americans were not Americans.
The Senate Minority Leader made his controversial remarks during a press conference on Wednesday, January 19, after Republicans blocked a voting rights legislation that would, among other things, expand both early and postal voting and make Election Day a national holiday in the US.
McConnell stood alongside members of Republican leadership as he addressed reporters including Latino Rebels correspondent Pablo Manriquez, who asked about the concerns of voters of colour.
Manriquez asked McConnell to address those who may be concerned that they would be unable to vote without the voting access protections that would come into force under the voting rights legislation, to which the Republican replied to assure that 'the concern is misplaced'.
He continued: 'Because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.'
The implication that the term 'Americans' referred only to white people quickly sparked backlash from viewers and social media users, with many expressing belief that McConnell had just revealed details about what he believes an 'American' to look like.
Please tell Mitch McConnell, African Americans are Americans.— Agolf Twitler Slayer (@bblock29) January 20, 2022
His racism is showing.
Responding to McConnell's comments online, one person wrote: 'African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans” - Sen. Mitch McConnel. [sic] Senator - what is the difference between Americans and African Americans?'
Another commented: 'African Americans ARE Americans, you fricking racist moron. You Republicans have shown your true colors. Time to vote you jack*sses out.'
Democrats were also among those to call out McConnell for implying African Americans do not fall under the term 'Americans', with Scott Huffman, who is running for the House in North Carolina, writing: 'Tell me African-Americans aren't Americans without telling me you're a racist @LeaderMcConnell.'
Meanwhile, former Kentucky state senator Charles Booker, who is campaigning for the US senate, tweeted, 'I am no less American than Mitch McConnell', adding: 'I need you to understand that this is who Mitch McConnell is. Being Black doesn’t make you less of an American, no matter what this craven man thinks.'
I am no less American than Mitch McConnell.— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) January 20, 2022
The decision to block the Democrats' voting right legislation marked the fifth time all 50 Republicans opposed the measure, The Guardian reports.
President Joe Biden has expressed his frustration in the repeated blocking of the bill, saying in a statement this week that he was 'profoundly disappointed' but not 'deterred' by the latest decision.
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