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Clyburn: Graham 'ought to be ashamed of himself' for calling aid to Black farmers 'reparations'

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) says that Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election Tim Scott: Could be 'very hard' to reach police reform deal by June deadline MORE (R-S.C.) "ought to be ashamed of himself" for calling aid to Black farmers "reparations.'

During an appearance on CNN early Wednesday, Clyburn was asked a Fox News interview during which Graham characterized a $5 billion fund for debt repayment for disadvantaged farmers included in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as “reparations.” 

“Lindsey Graham is from South Carolina. He knows South Carolina’s history. He knows what the state of South Carolina in this country has done to Black farmers,” Clyburn said of Graham. “They didn't do it to white farmers.”

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“We’re trying to rescue the lives and livelihoods of people," he added. "He ought to be ashamed of himself. He knows the history of this country and he knows what has happened to Black farmers … Lindsey Graham ought to be ashamed.”

During his Fox News interview, Graham suggested that the funds would only help minority farmers and not their white counterparts.

“Let me give you an example of something that really bothers me. In this bill, if you're a farmer, your loan will be forgiven up to 120 percent of your loan ... if you're socially disadvantaged. If you're African American, some other minority. But if you're [a] white person, if you're a white woman, no forgiveness,” Graham said. “That’s reparations. What does that have to do with COVID?"

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Roughly 25 percent of farmers eligible for forgiveness under the fund are Black, according to estimates from the Farm Bureau. The provision doesn’t include language barring white farmers from applying.

When asked on CNN what he would say to those who feel the debt repayment fund is reparations, Clyburn suggested that Graham “go to church.”

“Well, I think you ought to go back and maybe, go to church,” Clyburn said of Graham. “Get in touch with his Christianity.”