Mitch McConnell Causes Widespread Furor After Comments Seemingly Suggesting African American Voters Aren’t American

19 Republican-led states have passed 34 new legislations restricting voter rights. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Comments by Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell regarding Black voters in the US have gone viral online and sparked widespread outrage.

The Kentucky Republican was speaking after Republican senators once again blocked Democrats’ voting rights legislation on Capitol Hill on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to reporters after the bill failed and the Senate rejected a change to the filibuster rule that could facilitate its passage, McConnell was asked for his message to voters in minority communities who are concerned that voting restrictions being enacted in many states will keep them from the ballot box without new federal laws.

“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.

In fact, studies indicate that voting restrictions, like those passed by 19 states in the past year, disproportionately impact voters of color.

Democratic Illinois congressman Bobby Rush swiftly called out McConnell’s comment, saying in a tweet: “African Americans ARE Americans. #MitchPlease”

One of Rush’s Democratic colleagues, Diana DeGette of Colorado, echoed that assessment, describing McConnell’s comment as “disgusting”. “African-American voters ARE AMERICANS & to suggest otherwise is about as racist as it gets,” DeGette said in a tweet.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Joan E Greve