Nikki Haley calls out Rep. Clyburn over his defense of Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism
“Please don’t suddenly make one minority group’s pain more justified or personal than another’s.”
When Democrats considered a resolution condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) recent anti-Semitic remarks, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) invoked a bizarre defense of Omar this week that had fellow South Carolinian Nikki Haley calling him out.
The Hill reported:
Clyburn came to Omar’s defense Wednesday, lamenting that many of the media reports surrounding the recent controversy have omitted mentioning that Omar, who was born in Somalia, had to flee the country to escape violence and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to the United States.
Her experience, Clyburn argued, is much more empirical — and powerful — than that of people who are generations removed from the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during World War II and the other violent episodes that have marked history.
“I’m serious about that. There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her,” Clyburn said. “I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”
Understandably, Clyburn’s minimization of the horrific experiences of Holocaust survivors and their families didn’t sit well with Jewish groups and even some Jewish Democrats in Congress:
After his comments, Clyburn was hit by demands for an apology: From the Anti-Defamation League to former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
“I was disappointed,” added House Foreign Affairs Chairman Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., who is Jewish.
Clyburn released a statement later in the day Thursday clarifying he never meant to diminish the legacy of the Holocaust.
Here’s what Haley said:
So very disappointed in Mr. Clyburn’s comments. Many of us have felt pain as a minority. All groups have painful pasts. Please don’t suddenly make one minority group’s pain more justified or personal than another’s. #SouthCarolinaDoesNotThinkThisWay
Haley’s response to Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, is one that should be viewed in the context of their political history.
Clyburn and Haley were two people on opposite sides of the aisle who came together one sorrowful South Carolina summer to put to rest a divisive symbol seen as a motivator for a mass murder of black churchgoers that shook the state – and a nation – to its core. To understand fully, let’s take a trip back in time.
Clyburn was long a proponent of removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds. Though he wasn’t a strict devoted proponent of the NAACP’s boycott of the state over the issue, he nevertheless understood its hurtful symbolism to the black community
Until June 2015, the controversy surrounding the flag had been a sensitive, almost taboo subject for South Carolina Republicans – including Haley. The boycott wasn’t an issue for them, and they were content with defying the wishes of outsiders by letting it be.
But that all changed in the aftermath of the brutal June 17, 2015 murders at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. After photos surfaced showing the killer holding up a Confederate flag, the voices of those who had long wanted it removed – including Clyburn’s – grew louder.
Haley initially took a neutral tone, but eventually changed her mind after meeting with Republican and Democrat political and civic leaders- including Clyburn. Haley, who is Indian, told the Republican caucus of an incident from her childhood where the police were called simply over the color of her father’s skin and how it and other similar experiences impacted her life.
Clyburn, too, knew the pain of discrimination and hate over skin color. He was a civil rights activist in the 1960s, took part in many demonstrations, and went to jail over his beliefs. His experiences inspired him to become politically active in the early 1970s.
On June 22, 2015, Haley – with Clyburn, Senator Tim Scott (R), and other distinguished South Carolinians from both parties at her side – called for the Confederate flag to come down. And on July 9th, Clyburn was again there with Haley when she signed the bill that authorizing the flag’s removal. The next day, it came down.
As young people, both Haley and Clyburn went through similar experiences with people who treated them and their family members cruelly because of the color of their skin. In the summer of 2015, they put their political differences aside in an effort to heal a grieving state during a very painful racial chapter in its history. And afterward, Clyburn continued his push for the removal of the flag on state-owned properties.
Clyburn has long understood the importance of taking a strong stand against racism, bigotry, and divisive symbols in their many forms. Which is what made his defense this week of Omar’s anti-Semitism so baffling to so many people.
His membership in the Congressional Black Caucus should clear up any confusion. The CBC and the anti-Semitical Minister Louis Farrakhan are longtime allies. In 2011, Clyburn shared a stage with Farrakhan, whose research group just this week said they agreed with Omar.
Clyburn ultimately chose to avoid upsetting a hate-filled anti-Jew “minister” of doom over taking a stand against the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism in his party. Haley knows Clyburn did the wrong thing. And deep down he knows he did the wrong thing, too.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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Clyburn is the poster child of gerrymandering.
As anti-Semitism gains ground among the lefties (from San Diego State U., to Minneapolis, to Detroit), the oft opined adage by Rush that American Jews are, “liberals first and Jewish second,” must give way to a logical and inevitable tipping point. It isn’t about Israel anymore. Jews all over the world are now facing a bold, existential threat from the folks they have financed, voted for and allied with for over half a century.
I’m curious as to how it’ll all work out for them.
The Jewish canary in the coal mine is hollywood.
It ain’t looking good. Right David Geffen? Speilberg? Katzenberg? Ari Emmanuel?
It’s goddam amazing. But then, when you live through history, it appears to go in slow motion. Just ask anyone living in Austria how it felt one morning to wake up to the Nazis being in control of your lives. (Kind of like if Hillary Clinton won the presidency.)
Nikki Haley is awesome.
It’s creepy how “norman” is now awesome.
I’m not sure what you mean? Creepy norman?
I’ve never been a neutral on the question of the secessionist confederate flag. The secessionists lost the war. That flag was their primary battle standard – and it too fell on very same day secessionist General Lee signed the surrender document at Appomattox. I also refute that bull-s threadbare argument of the Myth of the Lost Cause as rancid horseflop.
If people want to fly the flag at their home or business, or paint the damn thing on a car or a fence, then go right ahead and do so, but for state and local government agencies to use the image on documents or fly that accursed flag on a pole should made illegal.
No one needs the sessionist flag flying over the capitol to honor an ancestor who died in the war.
I’m sick of internet blowhards and their confederate flag nostaglia. Get over it.
It was not flying over the Capitol. It was at a war memorial, which is exactly where it belonged.
By disqualifying victim claims to the extent they are based on the experiences of earlier generations, Clyburn TOTALLY undercuts the growing demands for “REPARATIONS” based on slavery which ended generations earlier than either Japanese Internment or the Holocaust. Of course, nobody holds Democrats accountable for their stupidities.
Haley is the GOP’s best presidential hope, post-Trump. Smart, principled and tough-as-nails. Rubio is well-qualified, and, hopefully he will get his shot, but, we know that the Left and its media lackeys will predictably denigrate him as an alleged “white Hispanic,” George Zimmerman-style.
Haley makes a harder target for Leftist slings and arrows. She will make a great POTUS.
“Haley makes a harder target for Leftist slings and arrows. She will make a great POTUS.”
Eh. She’d be slow death, like Bush. What does she stand for in terms of issues on-point of the future of our Constitutional Republic?
Fair question. But, what is the specific basis of your concern regarding Haley’s alleged lack of conservative “purity?”
And, I’ll ask this, as well — in the current sociopolitical climate, in which the electoral map and demographic trends (i.e., illegal immigration; millennials acting as Leftist automaton lemmings; etc.) clearly favor Dumb-o-crats, and, the Mainstream Media propagandists can be reliably counted upon to mythologize/deify all Dumb-o-crat candidates, while vilifying and denigrating GOP candidates — who are your candidates of choice, who stand a legitimate chance of winning the White House?
All career politicians have at least one foot in The Swamp.
Great post. Maybe you can correct the typo in paragraph 1 and show Omar to be from MN, the gopher state.
Right-on, Nikki! You will be our first woman President.
Clyburn has represented SC-06 since 1993! The district was impovershed then and is impoverished now. He has done NOTHING to help his predominantly Black constituents during his time in the House.
When all is said and done, more is SAID than done.
As I said earlier, Clyburn’s district is a custom gerrymandered district, consisting of the poorest counties in South Carolina that are smack-ka-dab in the middle of the “Corridor of Shame”……yet he is never held accountable for that fact. He’s too busy trying to build bridges to nowhere.
I still don’t understand what he meant to say. I’m very willing to stipulate that the pain Omar experienced as a refugee was greater than that suffered by second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors. But how is it relevant? Why would media reports think to mention it? How does it add background to her statements and attitudes?
I’m also not willing to share your assumption that Clyburn is merely reluctant to take a stand against Farrakhan, rather than being a true believer.