An MSNBC guest viciously attacked Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) over her renewed commitment to keeping the Senate filibuster in place, which progressive Democrats say is holding up their agenda.
“Look, people like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, these are the white people Martin Luther King Jr. warned us about,” commentator Elie Mystal said on Sunday’s episode of “American Voices.”
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 the fact,” Mystal continued. “I don’t know if they can live with themselves with that, but that is the reality of the situation.”
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about moderate white liberals disparagingly in a 1963 letter from a jail in Birmingham, Ala. He said the following, which appears to be the message to which Mystal was referring:
“First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;’ who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.'”
Sinema said Friday in a speech on the Senate floor that her position on keeping the filibuster in place remained unchanged, enraging Democrats who do not have enough votes to pass what they call “voting rights” legislation.
Months ago, Sinema and her colleague Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who was also mentioned by Mystal, vowed not to end the filibuster, also causing a firestorm within the party.
Many Democrats want to make absentee voting easier through methods like mail-in voting and voting drop boxes, along with barring identification requirements for voters. Republicans say those changes would make elections ripe for fraud.
Calling Republican efforts an “assault on voting rights,” Mystal said the “chief architect” of that so-called assault is Chief Justice John Roberts. He expressed frustration with the court, which he said will strike down any laws passed by Democrats after they are passed.
Others on the left also attacked Sinema using racialist language.
“I must always be optimistic. But this is a very difficult time for Democrats,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) said. “We have two Democrats, Manchin and Sinema, and they are holding up the Democratic agenda. They have decided that they are going to stick with support of the filibuster, and they don’t care whether or not they undermine the rights of minorities and Blacks in this country.”
Sinema and Manchin are both Democrats in typically-Republican states. Many view their hesitancy to remove the filibuster as a political move in hopes they will be reelected.
Neither will be up for reelection until 2024.
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