U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trending on Twitter after making a comment related to voting rights in which he implied African Americans are not Americans.
Prior to a vote to move the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate floor failed Wednesday, McConnell was asked by a reporter about concerns among voters of color.
“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 responded.
A 19-second clip of the exchange was posted to Twitter late Wednesday and has been viewed nearly 1 million times.
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“Being Black doesn’t make you less of an American, no matter what this craven man thinks,” former Kentucky Rep. Charles Booker tweeted.
“In one quote, he summarized the entire GOP worldview. They think it’s a White nation and anyone who isn’t White isn’t a true American,” tweeted another person.
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According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan policy group affiliated with the New York University School of Law, in 2021 at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting.
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In an opinion piece submitted to The Courier Journal, McConnell categorized the new legislation as a power grab by Democrats.
“Washington Democrats have desperately wanted to take over our elections for years, even though their justification seems to change every election cycle,” he wrote. “After losing the White House in 2016, they said the takeover was necessary because our democracy was fundamentally broken.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated when McConnell made his comment. He was speaking prior to Wednesday night’s action on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.