Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to create a commission to study reparations. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked his opinion on reparations today, and it should surprise no one that he doesn’t take too kindly to it.
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us who are 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.” Notably, McConnell didn’t mention he and his party’s attempts to furiously undermine that landmark civil rights legislation or his own personal mission to make sure that African-American president only served one term. Seriously, it really does take some nerve for Mitch fucking McConnell to cite Barack Obama’s election as a barometer for social progress.
“We’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that,” McConnell continued. “And I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it’d be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. We’ve had waves of immigrants come to the country and experience dramatic discrimination of one kind of another.” You don’t say!
Mitch McConnell is the leader of the United States Senate. Surely, the man knows that the struggle for civil rights didn’t stop after the abolition of slavery or the passage of that civil rights legislation; that racist redlining policies prevented black Americans from accessing economic freedom; that wide disparities in criminal justice exist to this day; that as difficult as the American government has historically made it for immigrants coming to our shores, nothing remotely holds a candle to chattel slavery and the genocide of Native Americans.
Mitch McConnell knows all of this; he simply doesn’t care. If he changes his mind by tomorrow, however, he can always drag his raggedy ass over to the committee room tomorrow morning and find himself an education.