Mitch McConnell more worried about a pair of Nikes than child abuse


Senate Majority Leader McConnell ignored Kentuckians concerned about child abuse to focus on a sneaker controversy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is publicly focusing on right-wing media complaints about Nike sneakers while ignoring the abuse detainees are undergoing at Trump's detention camps.

Republicans and conservative media pounced on Nike's announcement that it would not produce shoes with an American flag with 13 stars over concerns the design was associated with the era of slavery in the U.S. and has been appropriated by white supremacists and other extremist groups.

"If we're in a political environment where the American flag has become controversial to Americans, I think we've got a problem," McConnell said at an event in Kentucky on Tuesday. "I hope Nike either releases these shoes or some other shoemaker picks up the flag, puts it on a pair of shoes and starts selling it. I'll make the first order."

McConnell's decision to weigh in on the issue stands in stark contrast to his silence on ongoing reports documenting how migrant detainees are being abused under the Trump administration.

A report from the Office of Inspector General was released on Tuesday detailing dangerous overcrowding in the camps, with managers on the scene describing the situation as a "ticking time bomb."

Nurses have also raised the alarm about how sick young children are being treated by Border Patrol agents, citing delays in administering needed medical care.

On Tuesday, a group of Kentucky parents and children went to McConnell's office in Louisville, requesting that he address the urgent situation.

"Mama's Hip Family Co-op members presented a letter to security officers that demanded McConnell take action on behalf of children at the U.S.-Mexico border by closing all camps, ceasing funding for detention campuses and reuniting all families that have been separated," the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

Anice Chenault, who brought her 5-year-old son to McConnell's office, told Insider Louisville, "We just need to stand up. We need to say no. We need to show our kids."

The families called McConnell's office on Monday to make their requests, but he did not respond. Nor did he or his representatives have anything to say when they went to his office. McConnell's team didn't respond to the newspaper when they asked about the protest, and his office has not issued a press release about the detainee abuse, nor have they tweeted on the issue.

"McConnell has a track record of nonresponsiveness," protester Mandy Olivam told the Courier-Journal.

She is right, in regards to his silence and inaction on the ongoing abuse, but McConnell has been responsive on one issue this week.


Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.