Mitch McConnell yet again attempted to out-do himself as an opportunistic racist. NBC news published an article this week revealing that two of McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers owned a total of fourteen slaves. When confronted by reporters about dealing reparations to the descendants of slaves, McConnell had this to say: “I find myself once again in the same position as President Obama … We both oppose reparations. We both are the descendants of slave owners.” (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/09/mcconnell-with-obama-on-reparations-1404123). Woke words from brotha Mitch.
McConnell is specifically referring to the fact that Obama has slave-owning ancestors on his white mother’s side of the family, but nevertheless, McConnell invoking Obama is extraordinarily insulting. He’s on record as having said that his proudest moment was abusing constitutional authority to spurn Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, you know, the way a true patriot would.
Worse yet, read the full Obama quote McConnell is referring to vis-à-vis reparations: “I fear that reparations would be an excuse for some to say ‘we’ve paid our debt’ and to avoid the much harder work of enforcing our anti-discrimination laws in employment and housing; the much harder work of making sure that our schools are not separate and unequal; the much harder work of providing job training programs and rehabilitating young men coming out of prison every year; and the much harder work of lifting 37 million Americans of all races out of poverty.” Firstly, this doesn’t exactly sound like Obama’s against reparations to me (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/09/what-obama-actually-said-his-rejection-reparations/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dc4f0db43419). Secondly, this comment is over a decade old and was therefore stated in the context of 2008 America. Thirdly, Obama said this while campaigning, not as president. Even if Obama were opposed to reparations in 2008, people change their views over time, and the words of a presidential hopeful do not always accurately reflect the views of the person for reasons that have to do with optics and remaining electable.
Worse yet, McConnell is using Obama as a human shield for his flagrant racism. In this context, Obama was a commodity to McConnell. Let me rephrase this: old racist one-percenter white man compares himself to black Nobel laureate world leader whom he openly despised in order to indemnify himself against his family’s dark past and his racist present. Let me try again, in case the mental gymnastics took you in disbelief: “The man who I made my mortal enemy in order to make America worse is black and has slave-owning ancestors but didn’t believe in reparations on the campaign trail 11 years ago according to my interpretation, ergo I don’t have to believe in them either.” This is a sickening take on the straw man ploy, even for McConnell.
Democracy thrives in snarkiness