February 20th, 2009
05:33 PM ET
5 years ago

Clyburn defends 'slap in the face' remark

Clyburn said Thursday that stimulus opponents were insulting black Americans.
Clyburn said Thursday that stimulus opponents were insulting black Americans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic Rep. James Clyburn on Friday defended his remark that opponents of the stimulus bill are insulting African-Americans.

The House Majority Whip argued that many of the federal funds are specifically targeted towards low-income minority communities. He also accused GOP governors who have resisted the stimulus of hypocrisy.

“Let’s take, for instance, Louisiana,” the South Carolina Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. “Gov. [Bobby] Jindal has been in my office a number of times. He has called me a number of times asking for billions of dollars in assistance to stand communities back up as a result of hurricane Katrina and Rita.”

“Yet he says there is something wrong with this money for the stimulus that comes from the same pot, that he sees nothing wrong when he’s trying to stand back up after Katrina,” he said.

Asked about opposition from South Carolina’s governor Mark Sanford, Clyburn said that in his home state, a chunk of the stimulus funds would be directed to the poorest counties along the I-95 corridor, a poverty-stricken region of the state most famous for its dilapidated schools.

He said it would be an affront to black South Carolinians in those counties if Sanford turns down the money.

“That’s why I called this an insult,” Clyburn said. “That’s why I said it's slap in the face. Because a majority of the people in these counties are African-Americans.”

Clyburn did not say that Republicans who oppose the funds are racists.

“I have never used that word in my life and I won’t use it now,” he said.


Filed under: James Clyburn • Mark Sanford
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Lynda

    everyone needs to read Atlas Shrugged (especially if you don't get J.P.'s comment).
    What happens when all of us who did not buy houses we couldn't afford and are now being taxed out the nose finally get tired of not benefitting from any of the government handouts and only being punished for our productivity? I think we need a depression to trim the fat. Society and the economy is cyclical – people need to have some hard times to learn what hard work really is. Look at our grandparents who worked hard and lived in their means their whole life. Once people never experienced hardship the whole society went to the pot (see baby boomers and their kids).

    February 20, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  2. lurch

    Dems aren't playing the race card...they are just pointing out the things that are wrong. Before, we had many of republicans and this just went on and nobody had the courage to point it out. Republicans has become spoiled rotten and now it's time for some change. People always thinking about how much money they can make but what about investing in your own backyard. and also take a look in the mirror and really look at who you are and stop being spoiled. We all know what happens to that spoiled child or that spoiled person just before failure arrogance steps in the way to boost what they may have so that they can lose it big.

    February 20, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  3. blacklovr

    just b/c you're black doesn't mean i owe you ANYTHING!

    February 20, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  4. america first

    support our president or leave.

    February 20, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. ranjit

    I am glad, jindal is rejecting the stimulus. In everyman's life, there is a moment, where you stand for your principles and not cave in like the senators Arlen Specter and other two senators from Maine. Clyburn wants to talk about stimulus, then discuss the merits and demerits. Don't come out and try to play the age old democratic weapon of raising the race issue.

    February 20, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Ernie in LA

    He needs a slap in the face. Blacks are more racist than whites. Shut up

    February 20, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. legal in nc

    Anyone that supports Clyburn on this is themselves racist.

    February 20, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. worriedmom

    Where in the world did Race come up in this issue??? Or does Clyburn know that this Stimulus is only going to help people of color?? It is people like him that keeps race an issue. Mr. Clyburn did you forget that you represent all the people (all races!) and not just your "people". Get off the race issue and start doing something productive in D.C. I dont blame these Governor's thinking over whether they want to accept. As my mother said "Nothing in LIfe is free" and the way the Govt is, you could be signing over your first born to Obama's forces!!!

    February 20, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  9. Tom C

    Hey Annie,

    You are explictly still supporting Sarah Palin, and you have the audacity to call other people "dummies."

    You should go look up the term "projection" in a psychology dictionary.

    February 20, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  10. jeremy

    I thought this was a stimulus bill? did i miss something, how is it racist not to support this bill? I guess the money isn't targeted to any other group other then minorities Why doesn't the congressmen give up his pay raise to help the people he is saying that is not going to the right people. Also for all of you don't forget that the DEMOCRATS have been in charge of congress for the last TWO years. The blames does not just fall on your favorite whipping boy good ole W. Pelosi and Reid have just as much to do with our fiananical problems as W. I thought in July that the basis for the ecomonic problems was bad mortgages anyway. I know that Freddie and Fannie control 48% of all national mortagages, and guess who they cater to? The low income high risk people, which was forced down the banks throats in 1999 while your hero Bill I left us a surplus Clinton. so the Dems are just as much to blame for this problem as W.

    February 20, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. ObamaKennedy

    Another Republican, Bobby Jinda, shown his true racist face. RESIGN NOW Jinda. Our country will no longer tolerate your racist kinds!

    February 20, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  12. Texas Teacher

    I don't agree that the attack is on this bail out is aimed at Black America. It is aimed at all colors who happen to be in the problems the bill is to serve. You know, it was just fine to bail out wall street... I don't recall Limbaugh or Hannity saying it was a travesty against the tax payers of this country! Now there is such an ourtcry that the wall are vibratinG! Look, bozos, these folks who have come up against hard times will get NOTHING given to them.... nothing but a second chance to keep their homes! A lower interest rate... but they will still be paying their loans! It will just take a whole lot longer!

    February 20, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. Betty777

    I will say it, Republicans put the "R" in racism – this is common knowledge. They did not buy into the Stimulus because they couldn't get tax breaks for the rich and famous. They think the Stimulus is going to people of color. Fact check, it is going to all Americans who are need.

    February 20, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  14. EVOLVE

    OPPONENTS OF THE STIMULUS BILL KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ECONOMICS AND HOW TO GET OUT OF DEEP RECESSION BUT YET BUILT UP A 11 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT FOR THIS COUNTRY.

    YES THE REPUBLICANS CONGRESS!!

    February 20, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  15. Texas Teacher

    You People who allow someone... anyone lead you around by the ring in your noses because you are too dam.... I mean darned stupid to think for yourselves... you need your heads examined!

    Pardon me for being so sick of the stupidity all around us! Limbaugh and Hannity love it!

    February 20, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. Ryan from Lake Tapps, WA

    This may enlighten or enrage you, however, you should read it:

    "You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it"

    Dr Adrian Rogers (1931-2005)

    February 20, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. Dave R, Pawleys Island, SC

    ...and what is the national ranking of the states that these governors represent?? I would agree that they would have a point if their states ranked in the top 10 in the country. But, as a resident of SC, I can clearly state that this state ranks nearly dead last in every thing.

    The dumbest thing this state ever did was to remove property taxes as a source of funding for education. It was replaced by sales tax revenue and we all know where that is. I am now paying less taxes for a 2,200 sq ft .house than I did for the 1,700 sq ft house I owned in south suburban Chicago in 1987!! ...go figure ..

    Our schools are falling apart as well as our infrastructure.

    February 20, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. lady in the know

    I guess the way I see it, Clyburn is the racist. If he accuses the stimulus package and the governors of slapping the faces of the blacks, he is putting all whites in the same basket, right? He is doing to the whites, what he is accusing the whites of doing to the blacks. What a two faced man....oh, that's right, he's in the Congress. I don't believe that the definition of racism is only whites against the blacks. It works both ways and not with just whites and blacks. It refers to any race that is discriminated against by another. For some reason, and I guess with people like Clyburn, Sharpton and Jackson flapping their mouths all the time stirring the pot, we have come to believe it is only a white against the blacks thing and it is not. One of the biggest racists is Oprah Winfrey. And I do totally agree with the black minister that said the 98 percent black vote for Obama was a racist vote against the whites. Obama could have been the dumbest, most illiterate man on the face of the earth, but as long as his skin was black, that 98 percent would have voted for him. When I see the gangs and the punks and hoods that had to have voted for him, it really makes me mad that these are the kind of people that voted for him. They didn't use intelligence or education, just the color of his skin...SOOOOOO-just who are the racists? And I totally agree, when did the stimulus package, good or bad, become a bailout for the blacks? It would seem that Clyburn thinks it is. And if you listen to some of the blacks talk, i.e.-my mortagage is going to taken care of-they think so, too. And Eric Holder has to really get out and do some talking of his own. If he did, he would see that people are afraid, thanks to the blacks, to talk about race. It is a taboo subject in today's society thanks to people like Sharpton and Jackson prodding the blacks on and on. And judges so afraid to do what is right instead of what might be "politically correct" that they have created a whole race that is afraid to relax in their own country. Race is and always will be an issue in this country, thanks to people like Holder and Clyburn. Sort of makes the lives of those tens of thousands of white men that died setting them free, somehow worthless.

    February 20, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. John

    Is this the "national dialogue" on race the Attorney General was talking about? Makes it difficult when the premise of any discussion is that, if you are white you are racist, if you are black, you aren't

    February 21, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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