Jemele Hill slams ‘cowardly, power-hungry white dude’ Manchin over voting rights bill

"I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy," Manchin said.

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Former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill called Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, a “power-hungry white dude” after he opposed a voting rights bill being pushed by his own party. 

“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_JoeManchin is a clown,” Hill tweeted Sunday.
Jemele Hill, Sen. Joe Manchin (Getty Images)

Democrats say the bill is vital for protecting ballot access for millions of Black voters. But in an op-ed published in The Charleston Gazette-Mail on Sunday, Manchin said the For the People Act is too partisan, The Hill reports.

As theGRIO previously reported, in the piece, the West Virginia senator said he would not vote in favor of the For the People Act, which would expand voting rights, make changes to campaign funding laws, limit gerrymandering and improve political ethics overall.

“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.

“The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner,” he added.

Manchin believes if only one party decides how voting is conducted in the country, it would destroy the “binds of our democracy.” 

“The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen,” Manchin said of the legislation.

Speaking to Fox News, Manchin said the Democrat’s election legislation is too divisive.

“It’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divide us more. I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further,” Manchin said.

“I think there’s a lot of great things in that piece of legislation, but there’s an awful lot of things that basically don’t pertain directly to voting,” he added.

Hill, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, shared a link on social media to a story about Manchin’s op-ed, writing “This is so on brand for this country,” she tweeted Sunday. 

In 2017, Hill came under fire for a tweet in which she called former President Donald Trump a white supremacist. While her tweets were mostly about country star Kid Rock and his run for the Senate at the time, Hill also took aim at Trump, saying, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

She also defended athletes’ right to take a knee in protest of police misconduct, theGRIO reported. Her remarks about Trump prompted the White House to call for her firing and motivated Hill’s former employer ESPN to suspend her for two weeks.

 Hill and the network ultimately parted ways. 

The National Association of Black Journalists named Hill its “2018 NABJ Journalist of the Year,” commending her for “using her platform to address national, social and cultural issues, in addition to sports.”

NABJ President Sarah Glover called Hill a “gem” who exhibits strength, grace, and doggedness.

“NABJ appreciates the courage and steadfastness Jemele has demonstrated as a journalist and commentator speaking truth to power,” Glover said at the time.

theGRIO’s Chinekwu Osakwe contributed to this story. 

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