Dem Rep. Jones: Opposition to D.C. Statehood ‘Engaging in Racist Activity,’ ‘Quite a Sinister Thing’

During Saturday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Smerconish,” Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) decried GOP opposition to making the District of Columbia a U.S. state.

The New York State congressman called it “racist activity” to oppose the push and compared the population of Washington, D.C. to Vermont and Wyoming.

“In the case of the debate today, it is because when you listen to the explanation set forth by my Republican colleagues, you can see quite clearly that they are not offered in good faith,” he said. “And the fact is, and something that I’m hoping people increasingly become aware of is that if you oppose systems of white supremacy, each if you do not consider yourself to be racist you are engaging in racist activity.”

“There are 700,000 people in the District of Columbia, more than in the state of Wyoming and Vermont,” Jones continued. “And so, the idea that we would disenfranchise those people, that we would tax them without representation, something we fought in the Revolutionary War, by the way, is unconscionable. And when you compare the states that we have enfranchised with the District of Columbia and the demographics there overwhelmingly people of color it is — it is quite a sinister thing.”

Jones rejected the constitutional argument against D.C. statehood.

“Respectfully, I think your response is not something that addresses the issue of those two states having more representation, which is to say really any representation because delegate Holmes Norton can’t even vote on legislation, unfortunately,” he added. “And the difference between those two states, aside from the fact that they have less — that they have less, fewer people than in Washington, D.C. is that they are overwhelmingly white states. This is an issue of racial justice in addition to being an issue of democracy. And we must stop disenfranchising people of color in this country. It’s time to stop doing that.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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