Prominent Black civil rights leaders, politicians, and activists unloaded on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin after the West Virginia politician doubled down on his decision to vote against the For the People Act, a sweeping piece of legislation to thwart the advances of increasing Republican-backed voter suppression legislation across the country.
Manchin’s stance makes him the only Democrat senator to oppose the bill.
“I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster,” Manchin wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette.
Manchin has also assigned himself to stand with the Republicans by voicing opposition to gutting the filibuster, an integral focus of congressional Democrats who want to move forward with progressive legislation.
On Monday, The Atlantic contributor Jemele Hill tweeted that Manchin was a defender of white supremacy by taking sides with Republicans in one of the most pressing issues of the last century.
“This is so on brand for this country,” Hill tweeted in response to an Associated Press article which confirmed Manchin’s position. “Record number of black voters show up to save this democracy, only for white supremacy to be upheld by a cowardly power-hungry white dude. @Sen_JoeMacnhin is a clown.”
And newly-elected Senator Mondaire Jones rightfully unleashed on Manchin during an interview with MSNBC.
“He should not want to be known as the senator who blocked voting rights and undermined American democracy.”
New York representative Jamal Bowen went even further.
“Joe Manchin has become the new Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell during Obama’s presidency said he would do everything in his power to stop (then-President Barack Obama),” Bowman told CNN.” “He’s also repeated that now during the Biden presidency by saying he would do everything in his power to stop President Biden, and now Joe Manchin is doing everything in his power to stop democracy and to stop our work for the people, the work that the people sent us here to do.”
Manchin is expected to meet with the NAACP leaders on Tuesday, which includes participants Al Sharpton, Sherrilyn Ifill, president and direct-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Marc Moria, president of the Urban League.
It is clear more than ever that individuals with large platforms will use their positions to petition with the Senator who has somehow missed the importance of protecting voting rights as Republicans in at least 14 states have enacted voter suppression laws.