As a House committee prepared to hold a hearing on reparations for African Americans on Wednesday, the top Republican on Capitol Hill demonstrated why the hearing might be a good idea.

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) .

“We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation,” McConnell went on. “We’ve elected an African American president.”

McConnell spoke as if the abolition of slavery in 1865 resulted in an ongoing series of good things for African Americans, culminating in the election of

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