While speaking to reporters Thursday (January 20), McConnell answered a question asking his thoughts on the concern many Black voters have after two key pieces of federal voting rights legislation failed in the Senate this week.
“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,” McConnell said.
Many online caught the wording, saying the Senate Minority Leader’s words weren’t a “slip up” but an actual window into how he –– and other white lawmakers –– feel about Black people.
Twitter erupted, with the hashtag #MitchPlease trending overnight, driving the point home that Black people are Americans.
Some thanked McConnell for rejuvenating efforts to get more of us out to the polls when midterm elections start later this year.
Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin wrote a letter to McConnell, condemning the remarks.
“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.”
Some Black Twitter users took the opportunity to post photos of their ancestors, underlining that Black people have been here, and a part of the country for generations.
Indigenous communities also joined into the online dragging, reiterating the “American” is not synonymous with white people, particularly because of the fact that whole Indigenous nations were established on this land way before 1776.
And we haven’t forgotten about you either, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema –– whose votes against changing the filibuster rules resulted in the voting rights bills failing in the chamber.