CNN personality Don Lemon called Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema a "hypocrite" for praising the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while actively blocking Democrats' attempts to pass comprehensive voting rights legislation.
Lemon issued his statements after Sinema, with no trace of irony whatsoever, wrote a tweet commemorating Dr. King's life and legacy.
You can hear what he said in the video below.
Lemon issued a thinly veiled criticism of Democrats like Senators Sinema and Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, who've actively undermined attempts to pass voting rights legislation, saying they want to evoke Dr. King's name only as a matter of political convenience.
“Inevitably, you get the politicians—especially the ones in Washington now who are blocking people’s access to the voting booth—and they want to use Dr. King conveniently. They’re the biggest hypocrites on the planet.”
Lemon singled out Sinema for opposing efforts to amend the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
He reminded his viewers the filibuster is itself a relic of the Jim Crow era.
It was often used to block racial equity in the United States much as it's been used today to stop the passage of voting rights, which would significantly help communities that have historically been denied access to the voting booth.
Lemon went on to quote Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" in which he called out “the White moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice."
“That sounds like… the moderates,” Lemon said about Sinema and Manchin, adding:
“‘Not now, we can’t change the rules, because the rules are tradition, but we’re going to block people from the voting [booth]. And you’re supposed to be a Democrat who espouses to the ideals of Dr. King."
That’s bulls**t. That’s BS. And you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a hypocrite.”
Many have concurred with Lemon's assessment and offered their own criticisms of Sinema.
Lemon's use of "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is especially prescient considering the ongoing strife in the Senate.
Democrats Sinema and Manchin have stressed their commitment to more moderate proposals, refusing to back efforts to amend the filibuster and accusing Democrats of not reaching across the political aisle.
But Dr. King’s proposals run directly counter to incrementalism, which he considers an intellectually dishonest method of affecting social change. He tests his readers’ intellectual dignity further when he explains the difference between laws that are “just” and those that are “unjust.”
And Dr. King has much to say about White moderates, those whom he believes pose a greater risk to integration than outright racists like the KKK and White nationalists.
For him, White moderates are an albatross in the fight for equality in that they are “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice,” predisposed to demand civil rights be dependent on certain conditions, behavior that renders them “the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom.”