Republican Senator Is Getting Called Out as 'Racist' for His Questionable Argument Against D.C. Statehood
On Thursday, the United States Senate debated the issue of granting the District of Columbia statehood, thereby granting the district representation in Congress and expanded authority over its budget.
Republicans are largely against the idea, considering that statehood for DC would almost certainly result in two safely blue Senate seats.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)—who recently sparked controversy by endorsing military force against protesters—used fear to sow opposition of the bill during a floor debate.
Sen. Tom Cotton on #DCstatehood: "Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry?" pic.twitter.com/e2PDM5IySQ
— The Hill (@thehill) June 25, 2020
Cotton asked lawmakers if they would trust Democratic DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, or former DC Mayor Marion Barry—both of whom are Black—to protect the capital:
"Would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Barry? More important, should we risk the safety of our capital on such a gamble?"
He accused Bowser of siding with "rioters."
In an attempt to discredit arguments that DC's population merits statehood, Cotton conceded that Wyoming—which became a state in 1890—has 200 thousand fewer people.
He then implied that Wyoming, which is over 90 percent white, merited statehood because its workers contribute more than DC, which is nearly 50 percent Black:
"Yes, Wyoming is smaller than Washington by population, but it has three times as many workers in mining, logging and construction, and ten times as many workers in manufacturing. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded working-class state. A new state of Washington would not be."
People heard Cotton's subtext loud and clear.
Tom Cotton referencing both the old “Blacks can't lead" stereotype and the “Blacks are criminal/animal" stereotype because Tom Cotton's racism is intersectional. https://t.co/i9hk6oxv5d
— Touré (@Toure) June 25, 2020
Wyoming: 578,759 residents; 91.6% of them are white.
D.C.: 705,749 residents; 45.5% of them are Black.
Tom Cotton thinks Wyoming should be a state, but D.C. should not.
I wonder why! https://t.co/CqOx4zxNMu
— Max Berger (@maxberger) June 25, 2020
Tom Cotton's argument against DC statehood is equal parts racist and unconvincing
— Sam Stein (@samstein) June 25, 2020
Also Tom Cotton is a racist https://t.co/FPgmjOICWZ
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) June 25, 2020
He means “Wyoming is a white state" https://t.co/f8sv7QLBBK
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) June 25, 2020
Tom Cotton is a stupid racist and people who pretend otherwise likely are too.
That's it. That's the tweet.
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) June 25, 2020
People weren't convinced that his concern was with DC's professions.
Huh? Since when do we assign democratic rights based on profession?
And what makes a waiter, teacher, or construction worker who lives in DC less deserving than a miner, logger, or construction worker in Wyoming?
Perhaps @TomCottonAR would like to define “well-rounded"... https://t.co/njyjnBFv0i
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) June 25, 2020
So according to Cotton, voting rights should be linked to specific professions? Maybe GOP should be pulling down the statue of Andrew Jackson - who was the champion of fully extending the franchise regardless of property (granted only to white males, but it was 1820s). https://t.co/ulLZNsEOul
— ThePhantomMannes (@awmannes) June 25, 2020
Cotton is all about race not professions. White loggers, white miners, white farmers, etc. https://t.co/iqwQaCHFbB
— Nancy Kelly-Martin (@NancyKellyMart1) June 25, 2020
Tom Cotton is now trending on Twitter.