Clyburn: 'Rightward Drift That Is Going Too Far' Helped 'Embolden' Charleston Shooter

Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), speaking on NBC Sunday about the church massacre in his home state, said the attack was predictable because of the “rightward drift” in the United States.


“I’ve been saying for some time now, my friends in the Congressional Black Caucus will tell you, I’ve been saying to them that there’s this rightward drift in the country that I think is going too far. And people get emboldened by all of this,” Clyburn said.

“We hear all this discussion about the confederate battle flag…. That’s a battle flag that flies in front of the statehouse. That is a flag of rebellion. We would not be having this discussion if that were the confederate flag or the flag of the Confederate States of America. Because that flag is not a symbol of hate,” he said.

“So when you see the resurrection of this, a young man, 21 years old, wearing all of these apartheid things on his shirt, burning the United States flag and glorifying the elongated version of a battle flag, certainly you’re creating a climate that allows this kind of thing to happen.”

Clyburn helped negotiate a compromise years ago to keep the Confederate flag at the state capitol, but he said Sunday that “if they had followed the compromise, we would not be here.”


“The compromise was to put the flag in front of the office building next to the statue. What happened was when some people rejected the compromise, the legislature, out of defiance, put that flag where it is today, in front of the statehouse,” he said. “That is not what the compromise was. The compromise was to put it on the backside of the statehouse, out of public view.”

“…They keep saying that it takes two-thirds to bring it down. That may be true. But it only takes a simple majority to get rid of that two-thirds law.”


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