- A picture has resurfaced of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell posing in front of a Confederate flag.
- The picture is from the 1990s.
- It’s not the first time the picture has circulated online. It first appeared in 2015.
- This comes shortly after Virginia governor Ralph Northam came under fire for racist yearbook photos.
Over the weekend, a picture of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell posing in front of a Confederate flag began to circulate online. The picture shows McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, in front of a large flag Confederate flag holding a plaque. It has been widely reshared on Twitter.
Tell it to McConnell, or is the Confed flag just a celebration of "southern heritage"? pic.twitter.com/3dI3jDn31B
— ChuckVoellinger (@CVoellinger) February 2, 2019
I have never understood how McConnell has managed to dodge this photo. Look at that smile. pic.twitter.com/hwQyaH65an
— Adam Jentleson ???? (@AJentleson) February 2, 2019
Wearing blackface is absolutely racist.
But so is smiling gleefully in front of the racist confederate flag.
If Northam is forced out, McConnell needs to go also!
No double standards. pic.twitter.com/h9C2bcWEXj
— Karl Darrin Devlet (@hesanihilist) February 2, 2019
The emergence of the photo comes after Virginia Gov.Ralph Northam has been embroiled in a controversy involving a racist yearbook spread from 1984. A page devoted to the Democrat shows one man wearing blackface and another dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe. Northam is facing bi-partisan calls for resignation but refuses to step down.
Users posting the McConnell photo are seemingly comparing the two incidents.
Lots of folks tweeting out this photo of @senatemajldr so I asked his office about it.
A spokesman suggested Leader McConnell wouldn’t pose for such a photo today as he did “30 years or so ago”… 1/4 https://t.co/fkd5eOzlHF
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 3, 2019
It’s not the first time this picture has surfaced.
In February 2017, Snopes found that the picture was taken sometime in the early 90s at the Big Springs Country Club in Louisville, Kentucky. According to The Hill Reporter, which looked into the photo when it circulated in January, the picture was first posted online in 2015 on a poetry blog called the Political Poet.The image appears alongside a poem entitled “Rebel Yell” about “turncoat politicians.”
David Popp, a spokesperson for McConnell, told INSIDER that “picture is apparently from a Sons of Confederate Veterans event 30 years ago or so.”
Popp also referred INSIDER to McConnell’s position on the Confederate flag, as outlined in a 2015 press release.
“The Confederate Battle Flag means different things to different people, but the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it, and that the time for a state to fly it has long since passed,” the senator said in a June 2015 statement. “There should be no confusion in anyone’s mind that as a people we’re united in our determination to put that part of our history behind us.”
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