Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has faced backlash after implying that Black voters are not Americans.
Speaking to reporters after Republicans blocked the John R. Lewis voting rights legislation last week, McConnell said: “The concern is misplaced because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.” However, studies demonstrate voting restrictions disproportionately obstruct people of color.
Democrats called out the comments, with Democratic Illinois congressman Bobby Rush tweeting: “African Americans ARE Americans. #MitchPlease.” Meanwhile, Malcolm Kenyatta, a Democratic Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, described McConnell’s remarks as a “dog whistle.”
- What would the bill have done? Banned partisan gerrymandering, protected election officials from partisan interference, required early voting and same-day registration, and restored the pre-clearance provision central to the Voting Rights Act.
- It comes amid unprecedented concern over the future of US democracy, with one in three Americans believing Joe Biden was not legitimately elected.