Politics

MSNBC guest skewers Kyrsten Sinema as type of white person “Martin Luther King Jr. warned us about”

U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema speaking with attendees at the 2019 Update from Capitol Hill hosted by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sen. Kyrsten SinemaPhoto: Gage Skidmore

As civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. is honored across the country today, out bisexual Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is being slammed as exactly the type of person he warned against.

In a Sunday appearance on MSNBC, Elie Mystal, a justice correspondent for The Nation, tore into Sen. Sinema, as well as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), for their role in blocking the Democrats’ ability to pass crucial voting rights legislation.

Related: Civil rights activists accuse Kyrsten Sinema of using them after holding private meeting 

“People like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, these are the white people that Martin Luther King Jr. warned us about,” said Mystal.

“These are the white liberals who have no sense of urgency, commitment or integrity when it comes to the progress of justice in the country. And that’s just a fact. I don’t know if they can live with themselves with that, but that is the reality of the situation.”

CNN opinion writer, sociologist Victory Ray, echoed similar sentiments, writing that “Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are the White moderates Dr. King warned us about.”

Ray referenced a 1963 quote in which Dr. King wrote that the “great stumbling block” of Black Americans’ fight for equality “is not the White Citizens Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the White moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.”‘

Two voting rights bills currently sit in the Senate awaiting action, but they are unable to cross the 60 votes necessary to take a vote on the issue. Republicans are filibustering the legislation.

Since Biden took office, Democrats have been pushing for filibuster reform, but their efforts have been blocked by Manchin and Sinema.

Both of their votes are needed to make filibuster reform happen, and both refuse to support eliminating the rule that effectively makes 60 votes required to pass any legislation through the Senate.

With the current Senate split 50-50, getting 60 votes on Democratic-led legislation is nearly impossible.

Manchin and Sinema’s opposition has resulted in the Democrats being unable to pass several pieces of legislation, including the Equality Act, which would provide sweeping federal protections for LGBTQ people.

In regards to the voting rights legislation, Sinema blames Democrats for Republicans’ opposition to the bill, saying that party leaders refused to “genuinely discuss” with Republicans ways to stop Republican attempts to prevent minority groups from voting.

The voters who are being disenfranchised have historically voted for Democrats; Republicans are unlikely to support a bill that helps people vote against them.

During his MSNBC appearance, Mystal added that the “chief architect” of the “assault on voting rights” taking place across the country is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who played a key role in overturning parts of the Voting Rights Act.

Roberts, Mystal said, has been “an enemy of voting rights and racial equality from his very first job out of law school, which was to oppose the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act.”

“This has all been done by Federalist Society conservatives that have been put on the Supreme Court and until we stop them, until we do something about the court…Always remember that John Roberts and his conservative cronies are waiting at the Supreme Court level to strike down whatever laws we put forward.” Mystal continued.

“As long as you let Republicans control the Supreme Court, you cannot have a fair and equal just society.”

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