Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was widely criticized for suggesting Black Americans were not fully American.
The Kentucky Republican spoke to reporters Wednesday after two Democratic senators refused to go along with a plan to change Senate rule to overcome a GOP filibuster of voting rights legislation, and he was asked what he would say to voters of color who are concerned about their access to the polls before November's midterm elections.
"Well, the concern is misplaced," McConnell said. "Because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."
McConnell's remarks were quickly condemned online.
I need you to understand that this is who Mitch McConnell is.\n\nBeing Black doesn\u2019t make you less of an American, no matter what this craven man thinks.pic.twitter.com/Esk1NgIhD9— Charles Booker (@Charles Booker) 1642652354
Shockingly racist, even for McConnell.https://twitter.com/bse229/status/1484007688866566150\u00a0\u2026— Marty McKee (@Marty McKee) 1642653182
Holy shit:\n\nMitch McConnell: "African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as American voters." \n\nToni Morrison: "In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate."— Mary L Trump (@Mary L Trump) 1642652031
Sen. Mitch McConnell just said the quiet part out loud.\n\nHe doesn't think African Americans are Americans...the one word "Americans" is only reserved for White folks, huh, Mitch?https://twitter.com/ashtonpittman/status/1484022166215700483\u00a0\u2026— Russell Drew (@Russell Drew) 1642659600
Tell me you're a white supremacist without telling me you're a white supremacist.\n\nMitch McConnell: "African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as American voters."\n\nJesus fvcking Christ. A bit of overkill, Mitch.\n\nThose damn racist Dems!\n\n#DemVoice1pic.twitter.com/t5kzKffY1r— The Jewish Ginger Resister (@The Jewish Ginger Resister) 1642664540
Wait a minute! Say that again? African Americans are voting at the same rate as Americans? I have to bite my tongue on this one but I thought we were all Americans? I\u2019ve never been to Africa a day in my life. I don\u2019t hear anyone saying European, Scottish or Ireland American.— Phyllis Marshall (@Phyllis Marshall) 1642661138
Mitch McConnell would once again like you to know that he\u2019s a racist.https://twitter.com/stridinstrider/status/1484013191101362176\u00a0\u2026— drew olanoff (@drew olanoff) 1642679329
JUST IN: Mitch McConnell just told voters of color that their concerns about voter suppression are \u201cmisplaced\u201d and added: \u201cIf you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.\u201d\n\nThe dogwhistle just became a foghorn.— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen) 1642654760
Even more exhausting if you are an African American. \n\nMitch McConnell is a racist.https://twitter.com/bellavegan5/status/1484100371421315073\u00a0\u2026— Love and Lemonade \ud83c\udf0a \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udf08\ud83e\udde2 (@Love and Lemonade \ud83c\udf0a \ud83c\udde8\ud83c\udde6\ud83c\udf08\ud83e\udde2) 1642673178
Black people already know that Mitch McConnell is a racist but its still shocking to hear him say it out loud \n\nHe tells the world that African American people aren't Americans -"African American voters are voting in high percentages as Americans"\n\nYes, that racist fuck said ithttps://twitter.com/bse229/status/1484007688866566150\u00a0\u2026— A Black Woman..The End (@A Black Woman..The End) 1642679480
NPR on Thursday reported on the efforts of Cynthia Hughes to raise money that is purported to go to defendants who have been charged over their alleged role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"There are many online fundraisers for Capitol riot defendants, which have collectively raised millions from the small, but notable minority of Americans sympathetic to the Capitol riot defendants. Most fundraisers go directly to individual defendants," NPR reported. "Patriot Freedom Fund, by contrast, is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation, and describes itself as a kind of central hub - soliciting donations from the public to then provide services to families, including cash grants, gifts, and legal aid. And they have asked for big donations.
NPR reported charity experts see "red flags" in how the new group operates.
"Among the experts' concerns: the composition of the group's board of trustees. The board is tasked with approving budgets, making sure the organization follows laws and regulations, and setting any compensation for employees. According to public records, the three named trustees are Hughes herself, Hughes' sister-in-law, and Hughes' 24-year-old son, who shares an address with his mother," NPR reported.
Hughes is a red flag herself.
"Over the last decade, NPR found, Hughes has filed multiple lawsuits, in which she represented herself, and publicly disclosed serious personal financial problems. In both 2013 and 2018, for example, Hughes sued credit rating agencies, seeking thousands of dollars in damages and changes to her credit rating. Hughes stated in court documents that she had struggled with late payments, poor credit scores, and the ripple effects of filing for bankruptcy in the 2000s," NPR reported. "Another potential warning sign: The Patriot Freedom Project also has yet to file the required paperwork registering as a charity in its home state of New Jersey, according to authorities there."
Family members of defendants are also voicing concerns.
"A few of us have asked for transparency and got NO WHERE," said one family member.
Molly, a cousin of defendant Kyle Fitzsimons, said that the Patriot Freedom Fund is getting in the way of the direct fundraisers used by defendants.
"People deserve to know where their money is going," Molly said. "It is really getting in the way of funding the individual's fund raisers. It is not the best way to donate."
Scientists have discovered one of the world's largest coral reefs off the coast of Tahiti, a vast area of "pristine" rose-shaped corals deep under water apparently unharmed by climate change, UNESCO announced Thursday.
The area of healthy coral in cooler waters between 30 and 65 meters (98 to 213 feet) deep is a "highly unusual" find, UNESCO said, and could suggest there are more reefs in the ocean depth that may be safer from the impacts of warming waters.
"The discovery of this reef in such a pristine condition is good news and can inspire future conservation," said Laetitia Hedouin, a marine biologist at French research agency (CNRS).
"We think that deeper reefs may be better protected from global warming."
The reef is approximately three kilometers (two miles) in length and up to 65 meters wide in places, which UNESCO said "makes it one of the most extensive healthy coral reefs on record".
Most of the world's known reefs have been found at depths of up to 25 meters and the UN heritage body said the Tahiti reef could suggest there are more areas of healthy coral in the ocean's unmapped "twilight zone".
"To date, we know the surface of the moon better than the deep ocean," said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, adding that only 20 percent of the world's seabed had been mapped.
"This remarkable discovery in Tahiti demonstrates the incredible work of scientists who, with the support of UNESCO, further the extent of our knowledge about what lies beneath."
French Polynesia suffered a significant bleaching event back in 2019 however this reef does not appear to have been significantly affected.
The giant rose-shaped corals are each up to two meters in diameter.
"These corals do not show signs of stress or disease," Hedouin told AFP.
Bleaching occurs when healthy corals become stressed by spikes in ocean temperatures, causing them to expel algae living in their tissues, leaving graveyards of bleached skeletons where vibrant ecosystems once thrived.
© 2022 AFP