Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.-6) has been called out by many in Black America lately. Community activists and voters have complained publicly that Democratic congressman from South Carolina hasn’t been pushing the Black agenda as much as he should.
Clyburn, who has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993, has served as House Majority Whip since 2019. The majority whip is an elected member of the majority party who helps the Speaker of the House and the majority leader to coordinate ideas and get support for proposed legislation.
The latest to take Clyburn to task is popular progressive journalist and activist, Benjamin Dixon, who hosts the podcast “The Benjamin Dixon Show.”
Dixon tweeted on Wednesday, “I’ve searched all over the country and I’ve found nobody more committed to stopping Black progress than Jim Clyburn.”
Many were unhappy that Clyburn supported corporate America-backed Shontel Brown for a vacant Ohio Congressional seat to replace former U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge. Brown defeated progressive Democrat Nina Turner in the Ohio special Democratic election primary on Aug. 3 in what was seen as a blow to the progressive movement.
Clyburn has also been criticized for not doing more to push the issues of voting rights and reparations to President Joe Biden, even though most credit Clyburn for helping to get Biden to the White House with an endorsement during the 2020 election campaign. Many say Clyburn isn’t calling for payback in the form of policies to benefit Black America. It didn’t help matters that Clyburn admitted during a recent town hall meeting in his home state that he didn’t know what the organization ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery) was when questioned about reparations.
“Clyburn knows why white folks elevated him, so he’s playing his part accordingly,” tweeted Petty Is Praxis@rtyson82.
Laura L. Wilson @ellewilson tweeted, “I have been deeply disappointed in Clyburn, consistently, since 2016, when he attacked Bernie Sanders’ plan for tuition-free public university. A plan that would have benefited black young people, most of all.”
Others have questioned Clyburn’s loyalties. In 2020, author Cornel West criticized Clyburn’s close relationship with Big Pharma.
Clyburn‘s longstanding relationship with the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry has resulted in major campaign contributions for him. And this didn’t sit well with West.
South Carolina’s longest-serving congressman has collected more campaign contributions in 10 years from powerful political action committees attached to the pharmaceutical industry than anyone else in the House or Senate, according to Kaiser Health News and a Post and Courier analysis.
Clyburn brought in more than $1 million in campaign contributions from Big Pharma, Post and Courier reported.
“Look at Brother Clyburn. Clyburn gets more money than any member of Congress from big pharmaceutical companies,” West said in June on The Useful Idiots podcast with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper, according to Corporate Crime Reporter. “He can act Black as he wants to Monday through the next Monday. But that’s not going to be enough because you have Black people and other working poor people who want healthcare and want it for everybody.”
In response to Dixon’s recent tweet, Solidarity4ever @katzcrawford reminded Twitter of Clyburn’s Big Pharma connection. Solidarity4ever tweeted, “It’s not stopping the progress that he cares about so much as it’s serving his Big Pharma masters.”
On Aug. 2, Biden nominated Jennifer Clyburn Reed, one of Clyburn’s three daughters, to lead a federal commission aimed at addressing poverty in the Southeast. Biden wants Reed to become the federal co-chair of the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission, which was created in 2008 to help direct federal investment to the southeastern U.S. in order to address system and persistent poverty in the region, The State reported.
On Aug. 4, Dixon tweeted, “The Democratic Party works fine for Jim Clyburn. How’s it working for the rest of Black America?”
Some Twitter users defended moderate Democrats. “The democratic party is not perfect, but it is only big institution in America where Blacks have influence, so we want to make it better not burn it down like leftist want” @ezuma_ibe responded.
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