Sen. Tom Cotton Comes Up With Novel Way To Hail Whiteness, Gets Harsh Smackdown
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tried to sneak through a stealth phrase of praise for white people, but it got taken down — hard — in the House on Thursday.
Cotton, the man who has called slavery a “necessary evil,” was attempting to make a case for why Wyoming deserves to be a state but Washington, D.C., which has a larger population, does not. Wyoming, incidentally, has a population that is 92.5% white and 1.3% Black, according to census figures. The District of Columbia is 45.4% Black and 42.5% white.
Cotton hailed Wyoming over the District of Columbia, which is seeking statehood, because he said Wyoming has “three times as many workers in mining, logging and construction, and 10 times as many workers in manufacturing. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded, working-class state,” apparently implying D.C. couldn’t match up.
Freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) later observed on the House floor: “One Senate Republican said that D.C. wouldn’t be a, quote, well-rounded, working-class state. I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white.’”
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) April 23, 2021
Jones also attacked a comment from Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who disparaged the District of Columbia because it doesn’t have a landfill.
“One of my House Republican colleagues said that D.C. couldn’t be a state because the district doesn’t have a landfill,” Jones said. “My goodness, with all the racist trash my colleagues have brought to the debate, I can see why they’re worried about having a place to put it.”
That drew yells from some GOP lawmakers, and Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) demanded the “racist trash” comment be stricken from the record because it was “unbecoming,” he later told Forbes.
A spokesperson for Jones told Forbes that Jones was “simply calling out GOP opposition to D.C. statehood for what it is: racist trash.” Jones agreed, however, to the GOP demands to drop the language to “avoid an unnecessary vote,” but “he stands by what he said,” the spokesperson added. (The full confrontation can be seen in the video up top.)
The House voted Thursday to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, which would grant residents of the nation’s capital full voting rights and representation in Congress. But the measure faces a tougher path in the Senate.
Twitter went wild over Jones’s takedown of Cotton. Many pointed out that it’s no surprise Wyoming has more loggers than the capital. Others noted increasingly disturbing GOP emphasis on continuing rights for only their party’s preferred voters, as opposed to all voters.
honestly it's a relief to hear somebody just... say it
like just to say "this is about race and you know it"
— hegelian vs predator 🐬 (@reachrachelkahn) April 23, 2021
Sen. Cotton's argument sounds similar to Republican Rep. John Kavanagh saying, "Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of votes, as well." pic.twitter.com/Ac6TDipeQ7
— The Ghost of George Conway (@gtconway3dg) April 23, 2021
quality of voter? Where is that mentioned in the Constitution about statehood requirements?
— christina m. brooks (@runewarrior) April 23, 2021
Since when are any of the things Cotton is referring to a requirement for statehood? We all know the reason GOP is afraid of DC.
— ladydi80 (@ladydi1980) April 23, 2021
Funny, when we were driving through Wyoming, I asked my son to find a radio station and he said "we're in the middle of nowhere." It's a beautiful state, but not what I would call "well rounded."
— Vicki 🇺🇸 (@GardenerAngry) April 23, 2021
So, Sen. Cotton believes that the types of industries an area has, and the types of workers in those industries, determines whether a geopolitical area deserves representation???
Side note re proportion of representation at the federal level in terms of # of people: 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/rNfF2JUi32
— Susan Bordson (@susanbordson) April 23, 2021
I'm relieved Democrats (at least some) are finally just saying what we're all thinking.
Yes, we know what you meant by "not well-rounded", Senator Cotton.
— 'Rachel Tension' is my drag name (@ritarepulso) April 23, 2021
Aren’t service industry jobs “working class.” What is the percentage of service industry workers to white collar in DC that arguably keep the wheels of the nation’s capitol turning?
— MtnGrl 🏡 (@MtnGrl4) April 23, 2021
@SenTomCotton left out: "Wyoming has 10 times as many white supremacists than DC"
-- especially when the Republicans leave DC for the weekend
— Andy (@ACNickel) April 23, 2021
Well done, Rep. Jones. If Mr Cotton was smart, he'd sit down, shut up, and rest his racist brain. This isn't about population, jobs, or area. It's about adding a democratic state, and the way the GOP treats DC is the reason it is overwhelming democratic.
— Roslynne Levine (@roz_levine) April 23, 2021
when all the dogwhistles aren't fooling anyone anymore pic.twitter.com/oKhQ5TJ971
— Bastiat (@EverydayBastiat) April 23, 2021
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.