February 19th, 2009
05:56 PM ET
6 years ago

Clyburn: Stimulus opponents are insulting African-Americans

Clyburn is the highest-ranking African-American in congress.
Clyburn is the highest-ranking African-American in congress.

(CNN) – Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina said Thursday that GOP governors who oppose the stimulus bill are giving African-Americans “a slap in the face.”

Clyburn has been sparring with his state’s governor, Republican Mark Sanford, who has been a leading voice of opposition to the stimulus package. But the highest-ranking African-American in Congress said his frustration with the bill’s opponents isn’t limited to Sanford.

“The governor of Louisiana expressed opposition,” Clyburn said of the bill at a roundtable in Columbia, according to WIS TV. “Has the highest African-American population in the country. Governor of Mississippi expressed opposition. The governor of Texas, and the governor of South Carolina.

“These four governors represent states that are in the black belt. I was insulted by that,” he said. “All of this was a slap in the face of African-Americans. It had nothing to do with Governor Sanford.”

A spokesman for Sanford, Joel Sawyer, accused Clyburn of playing the race card.

“Representative Clyburn is no stranger to playing the race card, because he has no defense for the runaway spending and the deficits contained in this so-called stimulus bill that will hurt our economy,” he said. “Spending money at the federal level that we do not have represents a future tax increase on all South Carolinians, regardless of their color - and in the process of doing so, he's ripping off everyone he claims to represent.”

Sanford indicated Thursday he was leaning towards taking the federal money despite his opposition to the bill.


Filed under: James Clyburn • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. case

    He will take the money Stanford did a whole lot of posturing. The funny thing is even in the Reddest of Red states low taxes and small government is a myth, it does not exsist on any level.

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    After the ugly Alabama high school brawl yesterday I can see why there are mixed feelings about the stimulus bill. There is no need to be insulted because there are a lot of decent , kind and successful African Americans too who fortunately have been taught to outlive the past. Some have chosen to go overboard. I wonder if AG was referring to this old mentality of being the victim. Well at least he gave Cyburn an African American a reason to speak his mind on the bill.

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Kim

    The GOP wants to keep the poor people poor so their wealthy people's money will be worth more – it's simple. Republicans just won't accept the fact that they lost the election. You are no longer the majority...get it? Accept it, that's the way it is.

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. BILL CLINTON

    Matthew do you remember KATRINA!!

    February 19, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. PSKing

    You have GOT to be kidding- sounds more like YOU are "playing" the race card yourself, Mr. Clyburn. This petty whining (regardelss of the color of your skin, Sir) needs to stop. Let's get on with the business of picking up the pieces of this country- and all stop this childish finger pointing. It's destructive- and a complete waste of time and energy.

    February 19, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. liz

    Where were these protests to run away spending 6 months ago? 6 years ago? Last Fall? Where was congress when Bush was handed a blank check? when investment funds were handed a balnk check and spent 14 BILLION on bonuses?!?! Oh wait I forgot, 3 months ago the GOP party line was all about spending the country into trillions of dollars of debt, and now they have to blame everyone but themselves....

    February 19, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. Brad

    "...because he has no defense for the runaway spending and the deficits contained in this so-called stimulus bill that will hurt our economy..."

    Odd, most Republicans had no trouble taking a huge surplus from Clinton and turning it into a huge deficit for illegal wars, tax cuts for the rich, and other things; but when it comes to voting to help the American people, they are all of a sudden deficit hawks. Very odd...

    February 19, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. Thomas

    "Sanford indicated Thursday he was leaning towards taking the federal money despite his opposition to the bill."

    Hahahaha! Of course he is! He's apparently not THAT opposed to the stimulus after all! Typical GOP hypocrisy.

    February 19, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Viv, Utah

    So you think States (their taxpayers) should contribute but not accept money. You must be a Democrat. I think they should take the money if there are no strings attached( there probably will be) and put it in a rainy day fund. They will be able to keep going when the money has been spent by the other states and there is no more to be had.

    February 19, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. THE BLACK MAN

    When will you people realize that the only reason this so called "race card" exisit is because black inequity exists and has since the founding of our nation. You should stop dismissing these outcries and consider how our current state of race relations came to be, this is not a new problem. there wasn't a time when it was great for blacks in America and we found ourselves here, it has always been a struggle to have black skin here by dismissing it as a 'race card' phenon. you expand the divide of misunderstanding

    February 19, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Conservative And Proud

    Hilarious. Wish I were that ignorant, maybe I could hold public office.

    February 19, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. Alicia

    Some people on this blog are 'cowards' about racism. If you are offended by discussing it, you are being unrealistic.

    I think ALL Republicans who oppose it should NOT take any of the money. Let the states, like my state of Pennsylvania, where Senator Specter put us first over Rush Limbaugh.

    THANK YOU SENATOR SPECTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. Get off the African American stuff.....

    We have an African American President so I think they ought to let go of this stuff.

    By the way, why is there a Black Caucus? Is it the only racial caucus in Congress?

    February 19, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. alben

    Absurd, but true.

    February 19, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  15. Southern un-Comfortable

    It's not a slap in the face, it's a kick in the pants to get out and work for what you have.

    Why is it racism when a minority feels like they have been cheated out of an "entitlement"? The government (the people) don't owe him or any of his constituents one red cent; or did I miss something is this stimulus money suppose to be civil rights reparations?

    February 19, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. Greg

    Anytime you oppose Obama you're racist, right?

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. w.l. jones

    My parent gran.Great Great grand parent were born in this country and I only seen a half a dozen Afro.American in my life time and I am more that three score in ten . I am just a plain American. God bless.

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Stacey Spence

    Sick to death of the phrase "Race Card". You are governing people of all ethnicities. Get over yourself and do your dang job....

    February 19, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Judy from PA

    Oh please! The banks and the housing market needed to be fixed. The stimulus bill is nothing but pork. Yes, we need more money spent on infrastructure and building schools, but that goes in the budget, not a 'stimulus bill'.

    Is this what we have to look forward to for the next 4 years?? Everytime someone disagrees with the President it is because of race??

    And yes, Texas Teacher, I have alot of letters behind my name. Hope you are feeling better.

    February 19, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. WJS

    So in one day Holder accuses us of being "cowards" on discussing issues of race, while Clyburn goes off the cuff again. Maybe it's that white people under the age of about 40 have lived our entire lives being told that every time a black person has a bad day – it's racism, it's our fault, and we should be sorry. When did being Black become synonymous with being infallible and permanently victimised. I don't accept it. I'm tired of being blamed for everything because I'm white. I'm tired of being told we need racial equality, except when applying for jobs or schools. I'm tired of being told that it's OK to have a blacks-only fraternity on campus, but racist to have a whites-only fraternity. Everytime someone mentions the possibility of cutting funding to black colleges like Howard, it's racism, but if you even SUGGESTED a "white college" it would be racism. You want racism? Look at Clyburn, Jackson, Sharpton and so many other self-righteous "Civil Rights" leaders. They don't want equality – they want revenge.

    February 19, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. Matt, Chico, CA

    Anybody ever notice how blacks play the race card whenever they don't get what they want?

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. COWARD

    Clyburn is a black racist and a disgrace to this country.

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. wakeupamerica

    It's not just hurting African Americans, it's hurting ALL Americans living in those states. The GOP is the party of the selfish – me, me, me.

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. videodrome

    Clyburn should NOT be playing the race card.
    I agree.
    But I will say this...............the 5 governors that are supposedly against this stimulus bill have NOT put up any plan of their own. They have done nothing but complain. But yet they will all take the $$ and run with it, like they say, money talks, and everything else walks.
    Enough said.

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. Valarie

    Are you serious???? I'm a registered african american democrat from South Carolina and Mr. Clyburn I hate to be the one to break it to you but.......YOU sir are dead wrong in your comment of this being a "slap in the face" to all African Americans. It's people like yourself, Jesse Jackson, & Al Sharpton who get on my nerves always playing the race card and somehow thinking you're the spokesperson for all African Americans. Why throw race in it at all, why not just say it's a slap in the face for all Americans as everyone is suffering now because of the economy not just the African-Americans. Please sit down!!!!! So i guess since I'm democrat and I oppose the stimulus bill too, that makes me a traitor to my "african american" people. Please!

    February 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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