Claytoonz: Mitch please
Politicians make gaffes. Some examples are Gary Johnson’s “What is Aleppo?” Rick Perry unable to name the third department he’d eliminate (which he was later appointed to head by Trump). George W. Bush’s “Fool me once, shame on you…fool me…can’t get fooled again.” President Obama’s “57 states,” which Republicans still can’t let go. And then there’s Joe Biden in the 2008 campaign when he said then-Senator and candidate Barack Obama was “articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Every politician has gaffes, but what Senate Minority Leader and anti-voting rights goon Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday was NOT a gaffe.
When asked what he’d tell Black voters who are afraid the Senate’s failure to pass the Voting Rights Act will prevent them from voting in this November’s mid-terms, Mitch said, “If you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high percentage as Americans.”
When I first saw this on social media, I thought it was a parody. And as I often state, it’s getting harder and harder to to parody and satire. Did Mitch McConnell really state that Black voters aren’t Americans? Yes, yes he did.
Millions are now asking, “Why would Mitch say that?” They’re scratching their heads and scratching and scratching, and they keep on scratching until they draw blood…but stop that scratching, America (all of you, not just the white ones). It’s no mystery why McConnell would say something like this. There’s a simple and obvious answer.
The reason why Mitch McConnell would state that Black people aren’t Americans but white people are is that Mitch McConnell is a racist. Duh. So, his statement was not a gaffe. It was a Freudian slip. A Freudian slip is when you accidentally expose how you really feel.
Way back in the day, politicians didn’t have to hide their hate. They would openly campaign on their hate, like George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Jesse Helms. Now, they have to use code words to racists and other assorted haters. These are dog whistles. A racist Republican can’t say the N-word anymore so he’ll say “thug.” If another can’t say the word “Jew” in one of his rants, he can replace it with “globalist.” You can also let people know where you stand by saying “build the wall,” “send them back,” “critical race theory,” and “vote Trump.” They’re all dog whistles.
The thing about white conservatives is that they want this nation to continue being controlled by whites. They want a white America. Even as Caucasians are losing their majority, they believe they are entitled and should have more representation than the rest of America. Look at the Supreme Court. Every GOP nominee is white except for the Black friend. The “Black friend” is the “proof” conservatives to use that they’re not racist.
Republicans are now changing voting laws throughout the country to maintain and create Republican majorities in state legislatures, Congress, and to win the presidency, but also to keep white control. There’s a line in the cartoon Family Guy where a rich person gripes that in the good ole days, white people controlled 100 percent of America instead of what they control now: 99 percent.
Republicans will cheat to maintain their white control. It’s why they gerrymander. It’s why old racist Kentucky fucks like Mitch McConnell steal Supreme Court seats.
But, they’re supposed to use dog whistles and pretend like they’re crafting racist laws for the good of everyone, so they use phrases like “voter integrity,” when there’s no mass voter fraud. They use Martin Luther King Jr’s speech on judging content of character and not skin color to justify voter suppression based on skin color. And in case you haven’t noticed, when they talk about fictional voter fraud, they point at “inner-cities.” That’s another dog whistle. But those dogs don’t hunt and we see right through you.
And then Mitch throws up an airball which is still hanging. Everyone can see it. Mitch McConnell, your racism is showing.
“Mitch please” has been trending on Twitter over the past two days and thousands of Black Americans are letting Mitch know something he didn’t before Wednesday. Black Americans are Americans.
In Mitch’s statement, he referred to Black voters as “African Americans” before he made the statement about “Americans.” But, Mitch. How can someone be an African American if they’re not American? Also, how can they vote if they’re not an American? Oh….now I see. You don’t think Black people are Americans which means they don’t deserve the right to vote in American elections, so that’s why you’re trying to take it away.
Paula Dunn Brown tweeted a photo of herself with the caption, “I’m so American I don’t even know which part of Africa Mitch’s ancestors stole mine from!!”
The real irony here is that taking away voting rights and creating laws making it harder for ANY American is unAmerican. What’s also unAmerican is supporting a coup, attempting to overthrow an election, building a wall to keep out immigrants, voting for the candidate favored by a Russian president, spreading an election lie, trying to overturn an election, or starting conspiracy theories that the first black president wasn’t born in America, or telling Americans they’re not American.
McConnell and his Republican goon colleagues are telling us who is and isn’t American. It’s a truly white privilege to designate yourself as that authority.
Music Note: While drawing this cartoon, I listened to Tom Petty.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.