Joy Reid Calls Out GOP For Giving Empty Praise Of John Lewis While Blocking Voting Rights

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Republicans are crawling out of the woodwork to praise civil rights icon John Lewis after he passed away on Friday at the age of 80, but many of these same GOP leaders are currently standing in the way of restoring voting rights.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of those Republicans who released a statement about Lewis, even as a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act remains on his desk.

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid went after Republicans like McConnell for offering empty praise of Lewis.

“For those who are praising John Lewis and standing in the way of restoring [the Voting Rights Act] think about that, his blood paid for it,” Reid said. “If you want to honor him, there’s a pretty direct way for you to do that rather than give out a statement.”

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Reid said:

It’s so important to remember that history. There were four attempts to pass a voting rights act, to allow black Americans to vote: 1866, 1957, 1964. It was John Lewis’ beating on that bridge, along with those other brave young people, college students, just above college students, 20-year-olds, who bled on that bridge. John Lewis’ blood paid for that 1965 Voting Rights Act. So for those who are praising John Lewis and standing in the way of restoring that act, think about that, his blood paid for it. So if you want to honor him, there’s a pretty direct way for you to do that rather than give out a statement, FYI. Just a thought.

Time for Republicans to put their money where their mouth is

It’s great that some Republicans are briefly setting aside politics to acknowledge the passing of a civil rights giant, but it’s nowhere near enough. Not even close.

As PoliticusUSA’s Sarah Jones noted, Republicans must put their money where their mouth is if they truly want to honor John Lewis.

As simple as these steps may seem, they’ve become political suicide for a Republican Party that has been hijacked by Donald Trump, a man whose presidency is built almost exclusively on race baiting and minority resentment.

Hollow press releases and symbolic gestures are the only thing we’re likely to get from the modern GOP.

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