Clyburn: US must 'get rid of these racist pockets'

Clyburn: US must 'get rid of these racist pockets'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — Progressives: Medicare benefit expansions 'not negotiable' ACLU, NAACP sue South Carolina over redistricting delay MORE (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 ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottTim Scott takes in .3 million in third quarter Nikki Haley gets lifetime post on Clemson Board of Trustees First senator formally endorses Bass in LA mayoral bid MORE’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.

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"Look, America was not racist when they elected Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaEmanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing Public officials are under physical and digital siege We must protect and support our health care safety net MORE president or Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisAre supply chain disruptions the beginning of the end of globalization? Harris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia Harris to highlight drought, climate change in Nevada trip MORE 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 BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE’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.”