Mitch McConnell Humiliated After Attempted John Lewis Tribute Goes Wrong

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On Friday, Georgia’s Democratic Congressman John Lewis passed away after a battle with cancer. Lewis was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement; he spoke at the same event where Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, and, among lots of other work, he was also one of the “Freedom Riders” who rode buses across the South in an attempt to desegregate public transportation. After his passing, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a message in honor of the late leader, but the reality is that McConnell has fought against the very policies that Lewis spent his life working for. McConnell has blocked attempts at election security, he has blocked attempts at getting financial support to the people who need it, and more.

Commenters across Twitter promptly reminded McConnell that he was in no position to speak with authority about what Lewis spent his life fighting for. In his original statement, McConnell said:

‘The Senate and the nation mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis, a pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles… Our great nation’s history has only bent towards justice because great men like John Lewis took it upon themselves to help bend it. Our nation will never forget this American hero.’

Check out the statement in full below:

In reality, there are sobering facts of McConnell’s work to block the policy agenda that Lewis supported. Lewis, for instance, helped back a recent bill to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full original standing — and McConnell has refused to bring that bill up for Consideration in the Senate for months on end. Specifically, the bill would have restored the requirement for certain jurisdictions to get approval from federal authorities before making major changes to their voting systems. Since 2013, when the Supreme Court lifted that previously in-place, across the board requirement, southern states have closed a whopping nearly 1,200 polling places and counting, curtailing access to the ballot box for many black Americans. McConnell could help work to fix this problem. He has refused to do so.

As writer Amanda Katz put it:

‘Mitch McConnell has blocked the bill restoring the Voting Rights Act, which passed the House. When asked why, he said, with a grin, “Because I get to decide what we vote on.” That arc’s not bending toward justice on his watch.’

Check out other Twitter reactions to McConnell below:

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