Sen. Mitch McConnell issued a statement to reporters on Tuesday (June 18) stating that he believes the time for reparations for slavery to Black Americans is over. McConnell seemingly suggests that the passage of civil rights legislation and the election of President Barack Obama along with the difficulty of knowing who to pay gets the country off the hook.
The Hill reports:
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” McConnell said. “We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We elected an African American president.”
McConnell was asked about reparations during a weekly press conference, which comes a day before the House Judiciary Committee will hold the first hearing on the issue in a decade.
“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that, and I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it. First of all, it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate. … No, I don’t think reparations are a good idea,” McConnell continued.
Reparations have been an important talking point among some of the Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, and the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing today (June 19) on potentially passing legislation on reparations.