Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is strongly opposed to Washington, D.C. becoming a state, but the reasons he gave during a floor debate on Thursday got him in very hot water and accused of racism.

HuffPost reports that Cotton has a history of making statements that sound like racist dog whistles:

“Cotton, the man who has called slavery a ‘necessary evil,’ was attempting to make a case for why Wyoming deserves to be a state but Washington, D.C., which has a larger population, does not. Wyoming, incidentally, has a population that is  92.5% white and 1.3% Black, according to census figures. The District of Columbia is 45.4% Black and 42.5% white.

“Cotton hailed Wyoming over the District of Columbia, which is seeking statehood, because he said Wyoming has ‘three times as many workers in mining, logging and construction, and 10 times as many workers in manufacturing. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded, working-class state,’ apparently inferring D.C. couldn’t match up.”


Mining, logging, and construction? That’s what makes for a state? If that’s the case, there are some current U.S. states that need to be stripped of their designation. Also, Wyoming isn’t the seat of the federal government. The District of Columbia is, and it damn well deserves to be a state if residents are going to be made to pay federal taxes, which they are.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) heard Cotton’s remarks and called him out for them:

“One Senate Republican said that D.C. wouldn’t be a, quote, well-rounded, working-class state. I had no idea there were so many syllables in the word ‘white.’”

Social media exploded with anger and disgust over Cotton’s comments:

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