McEachin condemns McConnell over comments on African American voters

By Maria-Paula

Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell is facing fire over his recent comments in response to a question about voters of color.

McConnell made his remarks during a press conference after a senate session where Republicans halted consideration of the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act, legislation targeted to implement federal standards for voting and election protections.

“Well, the concern is misplaced because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans. A recent survey, 94% of Americans thought it was easy to vote. This is not a problem. Turn out is up,” said Mc Connell. “I have consistently pointed to the record-high turnout for all voters in the 2020 election, including African-Americans.”

A letter by Virginia Democrat, Rep. Donald McEachin, was sent to McConnell in protest.

“I am writing today in response to your recent comment on voting rights in which you insinuated that African Americans are somehow not American citizens. This is 2022 and being American is not synonymous with looking or thinking like you. African Americans are, in fact, American citizens deserving of our recognition, respect, and equal protections under the law. Your inability to recognize us as Americans is appalling and deeply disturbing.”

McEachin noted that the U.S. was built on the backs of African Americans and has advanced to overcome institutional obstacles and barriers for
success by contributing productive members of America.

“Your comments give greater insight into your motivations for opposing voting rights, and they are prejudicial and morally distasteful,” noted McEachin in his letter.

“The very fate and integrity of our democracy is at stake, and you have shown complete disregard for the severity of the situation. Your indifference and world views notwithstanding, we will not stop fighting to safeguard the sacred right for Black Americans to vote.

“America will find a path forward to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Democracy will prevail; America will prevail and overcome.”

In a bid to clear his name of the ill-received comment, McConnell’s spokesman said the senator didn’t mean to say just “Americans” but “other Americans”.

McConnell has come under criticism for comments he made in 2019, 2021 and now, leading to the Twitter hashtag “#Mitchplease”, being used
to call out the Republican.

Past comments have included:

“We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, and elected an African American president,” McConnell has said. “I don’t think we
should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it.

“First of all, it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate. We’ve elected an African American president,” was part of his response when prompted to talk during the historic House hearing on reparation for slavery, a statement that caused outrage, by others arguing he had implied the country paid for slavery by voting in Barack Obama as the U.S. president.

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