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Jim Clyburn Slams ‘Racist’ Districts … That He Created

In fact, South Carolina’s political maps would have been even more ‘racist’ had Clyburn gotten his way …

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One of the biggest, most enduring hypocrisies in South Carolina politics is that the so-called “Republicans” who run the Palmetto State are “conservative” – that they care about limited government, lower taxes and expanding personal freedom.

Nothing could be further from the truth … which they repeatedly demonstrate (and which South Carolina’s atrocious outcomes repeatedly demonstrate, as well).

Of course, when it comes to eroding competitiveness GOP “supermajorities” get plenty of help from South Carolina Democrats … especially when it comes to ensuring the maintenance of anti-competitive political borders.

“The creation of anti-competitive, majority-minority districts in South Carolina has been a bipartisan, biracial undertaking for decades … not to mention a mutually beneficial one for the politicians with the sharpies in their hands,” I noted in the fall of 2022.

In the fall of 2021, this news outlet penned a lengthy story discussing the extent to which U.S. congressman Jim Clyburn was manipulating this process to his advantage – conspiring with GOP leaders to draw political boundaries that protected his political fiefdom in the Palmetto State’s dirt-poor sixth congressional district.

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RELATED | JIM CLYBURN’S GERRYMANDERING ROLE EXPOSED

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For years, my media outlet was a lone reed in revealing the “bipartisanship” behind this scam – but last year Clyburn’s role was finally exposed for all to see by Marylin W. Thompson of ProPublica.

“Facing the possibility of an unsafe district, South Carolina’s most powerful Democrat sent his aide to consult with the GOP on a redistricting plan that diluted black voting strength and harmed his party’s chances of gaining seats in Congress,” Thompson noted in an expansive treatment of the issue.

Redistricting is the decennial process by which electoral borders are reconfigured – based ostensibly on the latest population data from the U.S. Census.

Clyburn’s aide didn’t just “consult,” though. According to Thompson, he brought a “hand-drawn map” to a secret meeting with GOP leaders – a map which “added black voters” to his majority-minority congressional district while “moving out some predominantly white precincts that leaned toward the GOP.”

What motivated him to dilute the strength of the black vote?

“(Clyburn’s) once majority black district had suffered a daunting exodus of residents since the last count,” Thompson continued. “He wanted his seat to be made as safe as possible.”

Sound familiar? This is precisely what I accused Clyburn of doing months earlier.

“Not only was Clyburn determined to surrender precisely none of his black voters, he made it abundantly clear he would be corralling even more of them into his fiefdom – making it even harder for Democrats to compete in surrounding districts,” I noted in the fall of 2021.

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Fast-forward to this week, when the U.S. supreme court issued a ruling (.pdf) affirming the constitutionality of the Palmetto State’s electoral maps in response to a challenge from the NAACP. On cue, Clyburn assailed the decision – predictably playing the race card against the justices.

“Today’s U.S. supreme court decision in Alexander v. South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP is further affirmation that this court has chosen to disenfranchise black voters and rob us of our fundamental access to the ballot box,” he said in a statement. “Equitable representation is the hallmark of a healthy democracy and in this case, the supreme court is attempting to steer the country back to a dark place in our history.”

Wait … really?

Disenfranchise black voters? Rob them of access to the ballot box? Steer America back to a “dark place?”

That’s some red meat for the far left, people.

The inconvenient truth, of course, is that Clyburn drew the very maps he is now assailing as racist. In fact, the distribution of black voters across South Carolina’s congressional districts would have been even more inequitable had GOP lawmakers given him everything he wanted.

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In its majority opinion, the court specifically called Clyburn out for submitting recommendations that “would have preserved the strong Democratic tilt in his district.” Specifically, the court noted Clyburn’s map would have reduced the black voting age population (BVAP) in the adjoining S.C. first congressional district to just 15.48 percent – well below the 16.72 percent level ultimately adopted.

“Mr. Clyburn had input and influence during redistricting that resulted in the current map we have now,” said Duke Buckner, a Republican who is hoping to challenge Clyburn in the general election this fall. “Clearly, this was done to keep his congressional seat safe at the expense of all others from having any chance of a Democrat winning.”

“To come now and criticize the Supreme Court’s decision is hypocritical, and he ought to be ashamed of himself,” Buckner added. “Mr. Clyburn has done what he does best, which is to look out for the best interest of himself instead of the citizens he represents. He gave his blessings to the map and to now come and criticize it and call it racist is not right.”

Buckner is correct …

I’ve been writing about this bipartisan assault on electoral competitiveness for years. Yet sadly, these boundaries continue being bent to the will of politicians – not the needs of citizens or the cohesion of communities. As for Clyburn? He continues diluting the power of the black vote in South Carolina’s other six congressional districts by hoarding it within his own district … while simultaneously calling everyone else ‘racist’ for going along with his secretive, hypocritical self-preservation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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6 comments

Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan May 24, 2024 at 5:56 pm

When is Enos going to realize that he is only a congressman because of the district gerrymandered just for him?

Reply
AC Top fan May 24, 2024 at 7:27 pm

Exactly, he’s a racist POS and the so-called republicans in charge of our state fix it so he gets re-elected every election by giving him possibly the most gerrymandered district in the entire country. It’s a sorry state of affairs when the most conservative member of our legislature outside of freedom caucus members is Dick Harpootlian

Reply
Anonymous May 25, 2024 at 7:05 am

Well said!

Reply
Dum Spiro Spero Top fan May 25, 2024 at 11:29 am

Looks like everybody is happy except SC’s voters. Clyburn get what he wants by ensuring a black majority district, and the Republican wannabes get what they want by bleaching out the adjoining districts ensuring their elections there.

Reply
River Top fan May 25, 2024 at 1:21 pm

Orangeburg is the worst county in South Carolina. Clyburn has contributed greatly to that. Pray for the success of Mr. Duke Buckner.

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Dumb on Purpose May 27, 2024 at 11:04 pm

Clyburn getting a free seat is the machination that keeps SC with only one Democrat in Congress. The idea that this only benefits Clyburn is failing one of the easiest IQ tests possible.

Reply

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