Ta-Nehisi Coates, a well known writer and activist went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Wednesday House hearing on reparations for slavery just one day after the Kentucky Republican dismissed the idea.
Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates used his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee to take down Mitch McConnell for rejecting reparations for slavery pic.twitter.com/igjpztIpT3
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) June 19, 2019
What We Know:
- Coates took issue with McConnell’s characterization that American slavery was “something that happened 150 years ago.”
“We grant that Mr. McConnell was not alive for Appomattox,” Coates said, referring to the battle that effectively ended the Civil War. “But he was alive for the electrocution of George Stinney. He was alive for the blinding of Isaac Woodard. He was alive to witness kleptocracy in his native Alabama in a regime premised on electoral theft. McConnell cited civil rights legislation yesterday, as well he should, because he was alive to witness the harassment, jailing and betrayal of those responsible for that legislation, he was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion. Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader.”
- McConnell said Tuesday that he does not support reparations when asked about the issue, which has been getting attention from 2020 Democratic White House hopefuls such as Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), who has introduced legislation to study the issue.
- Coates said that measures of wealth, maternal mortality and incarceration all show discrimination against black Americans is far from over. He said that reparations are a matter of “making amends and direct redress” as well as “a question of citizenship.”
“While emancipation dead-bolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows right open, it was 150 years ago and it is right now.”
- “I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” McConnell said. “We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president.”
In case you were wondering, McConnell is the same senator that said it would be his sole mission to make President Barack H. Obama a one term president.