Clyburn: Trump Is Trying to ‘Deconstruct’ Liberty and Justice for All

Tuesday on MSNBC, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) accused President Donald Trump of attempting to deconstruct “what Barack Obama and others before him did,” referring to “liberty and justice for all.”

On Confederate statues, Clyburn said, “The fact of the matter is we know history is history. Nobody is trying to change history. We’re trying to remove the honor that these people, who have dishonored our country and our history, remove them to a place where it’s proper. They should not be in Statuary Hall. The flag should not be flying over public buildings. So we’ll see what the Senate will do, but I’ll tell you, the Senate is now in play. It’s in play, in large measure, because most Americans have decided that it’s time for us to make the greatest of this country accessible and affordable for all of its citizens.”

He continued, “We see a total commitment more than 70% of the American people are now believing that black lives do matter, not just with law enforcement, but health care, education, with the environment. Black lives matter when you put poisonous air in black neighborhoods, you’re killing black people. When you have these challenged environment issues in black neighborhoods, their lives don’t matter to you. So this is a much broader thing than just law enforcement. So I’m so proud of the Black Lives Matter movement, but I’m also proud of the fact that it looks like the majority of people who are not black now believe it’s something to be pursued.”

Host Katy Tur asked, “Let me ask you this, why do you think the president is running on protecting Confederate statues, Why is he running against the phrase “Black Lives Matter”? What do you think he’s doing?”

Clyburn said, “I think he’s mimicking Ronald Reagan, who made his first speech after being nominated for the presidency in Philadelphia, Mississippi which was known for only one thing and that was the murder of three —and they were not all black, one black, the other two white people who are trying to register people to vote. He made a states’ rights speech at the moment, but Ron Reagan had a sophistication that this president doesn’t have. He’s mimicking Woodrow Wilson, who had ‘Birth of a Nation,’ The first showing of ‘Birth of a Nation’ in the White House. He was an intellectual that this president is not. This president is a throwback to Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Abraham Lincoln, and who started us to dismantling the Reconstruction-era programs that held such great promise for America. So what he’s trying to do is deconstruct so much of what Barack Obama and others before him did, to try to live out the meaning of this country liberty and justice for all.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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