House

Clyburn: US must ‘get rid of these racist pockets’

Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.)
Greg Nash

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he does not believe America is a racist country but that lawmakers must fight against “racist legislation” being pushed across the country.

“Yes, I do agree with that. That’s not the problem. That’s a red herring,” Clyburn, the House majority whip, told Greta Van Susteren for an interview on “Full Court Press” set to air Sunday when asked about Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) comments earlier this week echoing a similar sentiment.

“The problem you got in this country is that there are jurisdictions that do in fact pass racist legislation and whether or not we are going to condone that,” he said.

“Look, America was not racist when they elected Barack Obama president or Kamala Harris the vice president. No, but there were a lot of racists out there involved in those campaigns and we’re seeing them today,” he continued. “Are we going to coddle racists, or are we going to deal with the racists?” 

The comments come as Democrats rail against a slew of voting restriction laws being proposed and passed in states across the country. Democrats have panned the bills as voter suppression efforts that will disproportionately impact people of color.

Clyburn on Friday pushed back on Republican claims that the bills are needed to ensure election security, noting that no widespread fraud was found to have taken place in the 2020 elections.

“It’s not accurate at all. There’s been no cheating taking place,” Clyburn said. “This is just crazy stuff.”

Democrats have been looking to walk a fine line on calling the legislation discriminatory while not painting the entire country as racist.

“First of all, no, I don’t think America is a racist country, but we also do have to speak the truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today,” Vice President Harris said during an interview on ABC News this week. 

The comments on whether America is racist were sparked by Scott’s rebuttal to President Biden’s speech to Congress this week in which he accused Democrats of working to divide the country. 

“America is not a racist country” Scott said, referencing Democrats’ criticism of the voting restrictions, adding that “race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants.”

Tags Barack Obama Discrimination Joe Biden Racism Tim Scott

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