Clinton’s statement started a “racial divide” between the Clinton and Obama campaigns. But who did Congressman Clyburn blame?
During an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, Clyburn blamed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for injecting race into the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary:
“I don’t want to sound disingenuous here but we were doing well with this whole issue coming out of New Hampshire,” Clyburn said, noting that Obama had the support of Reps. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), who are both white.
“It was not until Huckabee sort of brought the Confederate battle flag into this thing,” Clyburn said. “Nobody’s been talking about that. And I guarantee you people recoiled when he did. You remember not only did he talk about the flag in a disparaging way but he talked about what the people of Arkansas would do with the pole of the flag….That’s the kind of stuff that brought this back into [the Democratic presidential] campaign and it was not here until he did that.”
It was a staffer of Rep. Clyburn who first made the claim that Tea Party members protesting the final Obamacare vote called the Civil Rights hero Congressman John Lewis a ni**er, a claim that has been disproved by all of the video evidence.
The fact that the claim was a hoax didn’t stop Clyburn from trying to exploit it to discredit the Tea Party.
“It was absolutely shocking to me,” Clyburn said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. “Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday… I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins…. And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.”
Clyburn’s fake racism charges are part of a larger progressive strategy. It builds on the existing liberal meme of the intolerant conservative. Its nefarious purpose is to end discussion by intimidating people not to criticize progressive policy, and as in the case with the McClatchy interview, it remains unchallenged by the mainstream media who distribute these false claims.