The topic of reparations has been on the tip of everyone’s tongues as of late, culminating in a House hearing on Wednesday that will explore the subject and “examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the community and the path to restorative justice.”
The latest to offer his unseasoned opinion on the matter is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who makes it explicitly clear ya’ll can take that “40 acres and a mule” bullshit somewhere else.
The Hill reports that the 77-year-old senator had plenty to say on the matter while talking to reporters on Tuesday.
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“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.”
We. Elected. An. African. American. President.
This African-American president?
Also, Lincoln didn’t regard the Civil War as a mechanism to “deal with our original sin of slavery,” but he sure as hell freed our ancestors just so that he’d have the manpower to crush the Confederacy. So let’s not interpret his decision to do so as some kind of noble gesture.
But please continue, Mitch.
“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate,” McConnell said. “No, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.”
Of course, you wouldn’t.
But if this House hearing on Wednesday goes as planned, Buzzfeed News reports that not only will “remedies” for the descendants of our enslaved ancestors be considered, so will a national apology for the heinous past staring at America in the rearview mirror.
“Payments are not the focus of H.R. 40. Knowledge is the focus of H.R. 40. [...] The Majority Leader may want to deny this bill a hearing, but he cannot deny the horror and the denial of freedom that human bondage represents,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “The majority leader can’t deny the free labor that slavery brought; he can’t deny the people who died in transit; and he can’t deny that this is the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the slave trade.”