Pic: A lot of white men – and there are 9 more !
I find it fascinating that on Monday, the Washington Post (WAPO) published the first comprehensive database of every member of Congress who enslaved Black people. On Tuesday the President of the United States, Joe Biden, called out Republican Party senators in an evocative plea to pass the Voting Rights Bill, even going so far as to announce his support of changing the filibuster, to ensure its passage. There is an interesting sync in timing. A reminder of how history looks at the baddies! Those on the wrong side of equality, anti-racism, healing, justice, equity and progress. A hella lotta white men!
The President’s speech to the nation was especially impactful when he called out the 16 Senators who had previously supported the Voting Rights Bill and are now part of a silent recalcitrant Trump-led Republican-gang that refuses to even debate the issue.
So profound in its synchronicity is the very idea of history remembering and ‘outing’ these rotten Senators, in the way WAPO did of the legacy of the 1700 members of Congress.
The Biden-Harris strategy is to call for a vote on the Voting Rights Bill so that history will remember these particular Senators, especially in the event of failed passage. History will name and remember them for this only, in the same way as the WAPO has now recorded of the 1,700 men — and one woman, — who served in Congress and who owned human beings at some point in their lives.
More than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people. This is who they were, and how they shaped the nation.
Julie Zauzmer Weil, who covers Washington’s local government, first started the reporting for this massive project when writing about the buildings or sites that could be renamed in D.C. because their namesakes enslaved people or promoted bigotry in public life.
As infuriating as it is, we must name them and remind them – history takes note of baddies: The 16 who have previously supported the VRA are Sens. McConnell, Grassley, Shelby, Crapo, Collins, Burr, Inhofe, Graham, Thune, Cornyn, Blackburn, Blunt, Boozman, Capito, Moran, and Wicker !!
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. set next Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a deadline to either pass voting legislation or consider revising the rules around the chamber’s filibuster blocking device
Click to access 2021-10-26-Republican-VRA-Hypocrisy.pdf