Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down any talk of reparations for slavery because, among other things, no one alive was responsible for slavery and it would be hard to know whom to pay:
The Kentucky Republican told reporters at his weekly news conference on Tuesday that “No, I don’t think reparations are a good idea…slavery “happened 150 years ago.”
McConnell said the U.S. has “tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation and by electing Barack Obama the nation’s first black president”
“It would be hard to figure out who to compensate…No one currently alive was responsible for that.”
McConnell spoke a day before a Democratic-led House subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing on reparations.
Polls show that most Americans are far from convinced on the need for reparations:
A Fox News poll in April found that 60 percent of Americans oppose paying cash reparations to descendants of slaves, while just 32 percent support it. A Rasmussen poll in the same month found that just 21 percent of likely voters think taxpayers should pay reparations to black Americans who can prove they are descended from slaves.
Sheila Jackson-Lee spoke today about inequality between blacks and whites: