The Internet Can’t Stop Dunking on Mitch McConnell

#MitchPlease has been trending since Wednesday.

Mitch McConnell called the criticism of his comments "offensive and outrageous." Tom Williams/AP

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It has been an ugly week for Mitch McConnell.

Addressing reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday, the Senate Minority Leader made an offensive comment about Black voters. “If you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans,” he said, seeming to imply that Black Americans aren’t Americans. 

The internet wasn’t having it. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted, “After centuries of building this nation, Republicans still don’t consider Black voters to be Americans…We cannot pretend that the days of Jim Crow are behind us.” Illinois Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush tweeted, “African Americans ARE Americans. #MitchPlease.” And Patriot Takes, a left-wing organization that posts unflattering videos of GOP political figures, resurfaced this video clip from 2015:

The hashtag #MitchPlease has continued to trend on Twitter since Wednesday.

On Friday, McConnell tried to walk the statement back, which only led to more confusion and outrage. In a news conference in Kentucky, he called the backlash to his statement “offensive and outrageous,” and said had misspoken on Wednesday by omitting the word “almost.” This was, apparently, another mistake, because shortly after consulting an aide, he returned to the microphone to clarify the word he should have included was “all.” (And beforehand, McConnell’s office had told CNN McConnell meant to say “other” Americans.)

“I was there for Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in the audience…I was actually there when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in the Capitol in 1965,” McConnell said Friday, in an attempt to defend his civil rights record. “I have had African American speech writers, schedulers, office managers over the years.”

The reactions to McConnell’s implosion keep rolling in. Here’s a sampling:

THE TRUTH...

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

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