Let’s Talk About Race

South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn says Americans must stop pushing the issue "under the rug."

Posted: 04/02/2012 11:22 AM EDT
Barack Obama, President Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh, James Clyburn, President Obama, Congressional Black Caucus, Trayvon Martin

Many believe that if George Zimmerman were African-American and Trayvon Martin white, the self-confessed shooter would have been immediately jailed and perhaps even facing a death penalty sentence. At the very minimum, some sort of investigation would have been conducted. So why are white conservatives outraged that African-Americans won’t accept any less for one of their own?


According to House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.), that’s what comes of Americans' unwillingness to openly confront the issue of race and racism.


Conservative commentator Ann Coulter likened Martin’s supporters to a “lynch mob” in an interview on The Laura Ingraham Show Friday and said Zimmerman is being unfairly tried by both the media and the public.


"This isn't how we try cases in this country, and the last time you saw this sort of thing on a regular basis was of course again from the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party's outgrowth — the KKK," she said.


Radio host Rush Limbaugh said last week that the fury over Martin’s shooting death is not real and simply part of a liberal political agenda, citing Shawn Tyson, a Black teenager found guilty of shooting two British tourists in Florida, as an example of liberals’ alleged hypocrisy.


“In one instance our president calls the media together and says, 'You know what, Trayvon Martin, if I had a son, that's who he'd look like.' You will not hear him say of 17-year-old Shawn Tyson, 'You know what, if I had a son, that's who he looks like.' Won't hear him say that,” Limbaugh said.


Clyburn believes that such unwillingness to deal with reality will continue to exist until the nation has an open and honest discussion about race.


“I think that for some strange reason we seem to not want to go there. We are not going to solve the problem of health care without talking about it. We’re not going to solve the problem of this economy without there being open discussions,” Clyburn said Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe


“So why would we think we will solve the problem of race by hiding it, pushing it under the rug. There must be an open discussion of this and people need to be able to vent and get this behind them," he said.


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