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.
“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.