Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking Democratic leader in the House, said on MSNBC Monday that “a lot of people” oppose President Obama out of racism.
Clyburn made the remark when asked about a comments by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who noted last week:
The south has not always been the friendliest place for African- Americans. It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader. It’s not always been a good place for women to be able to present ourselves. It’s more of a conservative place.
Clyburn chimed in:
And the fact of the matter is she reads some of the mail that she gets and I read some of the mail that I get. And for anybody to say that there is nothing that’s racial about some of the animus that’s being expressed about Barack Obama, you’re just not telling the truth.
The fact of the matter is we know that with a lot of people — I don’t care what he does, he is not going to be acceptable because of his skin color . . . None of us can successfully change our skin color, anymore than we can change our gender.
Let’s be clear about a couple of things. Yes, there are a certain number of people who oppose Obama out of racism. But there is no proof this is a pervasive problem – that it’s “a lot of people.” To the contrary, the perfervid, even feverish support among among those on the right for a host of charismatic and accomplished black conservative leaders suggests racism does not animate Republicans.
To suggest that there is something inherently racist about conservatives is blasphemy coming from Democrats, the Party that long hosted big-government Southern – and other – racists, and even had a former Ku Klux Klan member, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, as its leader in the Senate not too long ago.
Byrd, whose appetite for federal pork amounted practically to an attempt to move the federal government to West Virginia, is as far from a conservative as one could get.
This is not moral outrage from Mr. Clyburn and Ms. Landrieu. This is cynical get-out-the-vote politics, a desperate effort by desperate Democratic leaders to move African Americans to the polls.
It’s politics and demagoguery at its worst, and the White House and Democratic leaders should repudiate it. They won’t, of course, because they think the black vote is their last chance to hang onto power. Oh, and they like it.
Clyburn’s tirade starts at about 3:50 in the video below.