Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates took Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to task on Wednesday during a House hearing on slavery reparations. Coates, whose writing on reparations helped spark discussion on the topic, called out McConnell for dismissing reparations and saying Americans alive today should not be held accountable for “something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible.” “He was alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion,” Coates said. “Victims of their plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they would love a word with the majority leader.” “While emancipation deadbolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows wide open,” Coates said. “That’s the thing about Senator McConnell’s ‘something.’ It was 150 years ago. It was right now.”
Coates attending the hearing along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and actor Danny Glover. If signed into law, the bill under discussion at the hearing would authorize $12 million for a 13-member commission to study the impact of slavery and racism, hold hearings, and make recommendations. But its passage is unlikely, as it would need approval from the Republican-held Senate and President Trump.