‘I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it…’
“We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a Civil War, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, elected an African American president,” McConnell said. “I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.”
He said he could not support taxpayer-funded reparations “for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible,” The Louisville Courier Journal reported.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives held a hearing yesterday on bill H.R. 40, the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.”
The commission would figure out who would pay for reparations and who would receive them.
McConnell noted that reparations would not necessarily end with the descendants of African American slaves, since many peoples have experienced hardship and injustice in the United States.
“We’ve had waves of immigrants, as well, who have come to the country and experience traumatic discrimination of one kind or another, so no I don’t think reparations are a good idea,” McConnell said according to Mediaite.
Kentucky officials condemned McConnell for allegedly calling former President Barack Obama “reparations,” which he did not.
He merely said the United States has moved beyond the crimes of its past and that the election of Obama was a sign of the progress made.
Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker, D-43rd District, tweeted his response.
Reparations is about so much more than money. You think the history is too far removed? Tell that to my grandad. You’ll hear from him soon….
Folks, this man just called President Obama “reparations”. https://t.co/rRwHuyyY9j
— Charles Booker (@Charles4LouKY) June 19, 2019
Kevin Crosby, the president of Simmons College in Louisville, also tweeted a response.
This is the most ignorant, historically inaccurate statement ever uttered by a ranking Senator. Reparations is 4 crimes that began n slavery and continued over 100 yrs beyond. My father because of race, was legally kept out of the University of Louisville that Mitch had access 2 https://t.co/IzXUXqrsVz
— Kevin W Cosby (@KWCosby) June 19, 2019