Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday weighed in on the question of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves.
ABC News reported McConnell told reporters at a press conference that he was against the idea of reparations.
“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years — for whom none of us currently living are responsible — is a good idea,” he said.
“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation, by electing an African American president,” he added, according to ABC.
Democrats held a hearing on Wednesday discussing the topic of reparations.
“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country but no one currently alive was responsible for that,” McConnell said on Tuesday.
He added that it would be difficult to “figure out” whom to compensate.
“We’ve had waves of immigrants, as well, who have come to this country and experienced dramatic discrimination of one kind or another,” McConnell said. “So no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.”
McConnell hints at some good points. It would require a lot of money and coercion (which would likely be selective) to determine who is a descendent of slaves and who is a descendent of owners, what percentage of DNA they share in common, and figure out a formula to determine who has to pay how much and who receives what amount. It would also require the government to possibly force people to take DNA tests, which could be a human rights violation.
In April, students at Georgetown University voted to raise their own tuition costs in order to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves sold by the school two hundred years ago.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, students voted to raise tuition $27.20 a semester and divide that money amongst the descendants, who are already considered “legacy students” nearly guaranteed a spot at the university.
One of the students who advocated for the fund is also one of the descendants who would directly benefit from it. Students voted by a 2-to-1 margin to increase tuition.
Students who objected to the tuition increase wondered how long the increase would last and exactly how the money would be spent. Others criticized the additional cost put on them, as some students already pay their own way through college. Even others wondered why they needed to pay more for something the school had done in 1838.
“It’s unjust to compel 7,000-plus people to pay for the university’s historical sins,” one sophomore told ABC. “There is an obligation for Georgetown to reconcile its sins, and that obligation falls squarely on the institution.”
The school’s board of directors needed to approve the funding before tuition was increased.
After the vote, two students accused the Georgetown University Student Association of improper conduct relating to the outcome. They argued that that the student overseeing the complaints about election misconduct had a conflict of interest because they also co-sponsored the legislation that introduced the referendum. The students also claimed a change in how many votes were needed to pass the referendum may have resulted in suppressing voter turnout.