McConnell Insults Coretta Scott King During Black History Month

What Shutting Warren Says About How Republicans See Women And Black Americans

McConnell's insult to Coretta Scott King can't be ignored

Censuring Sen.Warren Says Two Things About Republicans Concerning Women And Race

Mitch McConnell’s silencing of Elizabeth Warren’s reading of a letter from the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on February 7th, tells America one of two two things about the Republican legislators in Washington: either they are dangerously out of touch with this century or they continue to embrace a derogatory view of women and black Americans. Both have the power to project the same devastating results. For there is no other way to interpret the blatant sexism and deep disregard for Coretta Scott King’s contribution to this country.

To add more brine to an already salty disrespect, this is Black History Month and to dub King’s letter as “an epithet” and not suitable for the United States senate, is incredibly insulting. Moreover, male senators were allowed to read said letter on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is clearly a new America, or should we say we are regressing to the old, when a female senator could be censured in this way by a fellow male colleague. Moreover, the reasons given for silencing her are incredulous. How could she “impugn” a colleague with a letter that was already on the record in congress? The optics were terrible but the implications were worse. Warren (D-Mass.) was told the equivalent of shut up and sit down Tuesday, when she wasn’t allowed to read what Mrs. King wrote on Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.

The letter penned in 1986 when Sessions was being considered for a federal judgeship, is a deeply scathing indictment of the AG nominee’s civil rights record, or should we say lack thereof? King wrote. “Mr. Sessions has used his awesome power to chill the free exercise of vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. This simply cannot be allowed.” She was referring to Sessions, then the Attorney General of Alabama, using his office to prosecute civil rights leaders in the 1980s on trumped up voter fraud charges.

Solidified opposition from others helped block his nomination to the bench from going further but president Donald Trump didn’t see that as an impediment to offering the Alabama senator the office of Attorney General. Making America great again sure looks like that “greatness” does not extend to black Americans or women.

The irony of McConnell’s heavy, sexist hand is, it has backfired spectacularly. He may have suppressed Warren on the senate floor but Americans are rallying around her, with the twitter-verse hashtagging, “let Elizabeth speak” trending Wednesday. Moreover, the Massachusetts senator read the letter anyway via Facebook Live and garnered over 6 million views to date. MoveOn.org followers have reportedly donated over $250,000 in just 12 hours to Warren’s re-election campaign. Americans around the country are taking up the senator’s battle cry.

Related: Why The Words ‘She Persisted’ Are Going To Haunt Mitch McConnell

One of those voices is Donna Brazile, the Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee, who on Wednesday delivered a video message live via Facebook in support of Senator Warren. She also read Mrs. King’s powerful letter after calling her“ a woman of valor and incredible courage” while slamming McConnell for what she called “silencing” Warren for “daring to read Mrs. King’s testimony against Jeff Sessions.”

And to Sessions supporters, who say he is being falsely characterized as a being prejudicial, what black America hears is that Coretta Scott King was a liar. What black America hears is those three civil rights leaders who were prosecuted by Sessions and acquitted, were guilty. What Black America hears is the long, hard fight for civil rights and the devastating racism that permeated high places like Session’s office, did not exist. What black America hears is this Republican party values power over serving all the people, all the time. What black America hears, is Session’s past and present record is irrelevant. What Black America is terrified of is justice will not be so just for those who look like them if the highest office of justice is presided over by someone who recently opined that grabbing women by the genitals was not sexual assault and who thought police brutality did not deem investigating.

As for Mitch McConnell’s powerful message to women– it translates into sit down, shut up and know your place. Too harsh? We are in the new politically incorrect, shooting straight from the hip, plain, tell it like it is, blunt talk era sanctioned by president Trump, aren’t we?

About Veronica Roberts 57 Articles
One thing is certain, we are living in incredibly precipitous times and though it looks gloomy from the top, all is definitely not lost. Activism has awoken to heady heights; citizen involvement deeply refreshing and civics awareness is growing daily. Moreover, a revolution of spirit and togetherness is undulating throughout the land. So do not despair-- for a resilient, united, vigilant people can move mountains and overcome anything.

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