Echoing Maxine Waters, Jim Clyburn says Americans must ‘confront injustice’

"We just can't sit by and think it'll go away. It's not going to go away. We've got to push it away. We've got to confront it," the South Carolina Democrat says in a CNN interview

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Despite the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, many Americans continue to protest police brutality against Black Americans following the recent shooting deaths of Ma’Khia Bryant and Daunte Wright.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, in a Saturday interview voiced his support for demonstrators, echoing the words of fellow longtime Black Rep. Maxine Waters of California, telling them to “confront injustice.”

“What I’m saying to people today, we have got to stand up now,” Clyburn said in an appearance on CNN. “And if I might use this word that my colleague Maxine Waters was chastised for, we have to confront injustice. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, speaks during a hearing on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

When journalist Jim Acosta asked if Clyburn was advising advocates to “be confrontational,” the congressman responded affirmatively.

“Yes, we have to,” he said. “We just can’t sit by and think it’ll go away. It’s not going to go away. We’ve got to push it away. We’ve got to confront it. We cannot sit by.”

“This is not about whether or not you’re Black,” Clyburn continued, giving a history lesson. “This is about whether or not you’re in favor of maintaining this democracy, a democracy that started off as a protest that was called the Boston Tea Party. That was a protest and that’s what led to what this country is today.”

READ MORE: ‘What’s In It For Us’ podcast unpack exclusive Maxine Waters interview with Gerren Keith Gaynor

Last week, Waters joined protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and spoke out on the then-impending Chauvin verdict.

“If nothing does not happen, then we know that we have to not only stay in the street, but we have to fight for justice,” said the California Democrat, who was facing a gaggle of reporters.

When asked what she thought the protesters should do if Chauvin was acquitted, Waters responded they had to “get more confrontational” and “we’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Maxine Waters
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Water (D-CA) questions Wells Fargo and Company CEO Timothy Sloan as he testifies before the committee in the Rayburn House Office Building (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Waters received some pushback from the right for her statements, claiming that she was advocating violence. According to the New York Post, Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the Chauvin trial, stated that she may have given the defense “something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

“I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case,” Cahill said, “especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function.”

READ MORE: Lemon says people with ‘half a brain’ know Waters wasn’t calling for violence

At the end of the trial, Chauvin was, ultimately, found guilty of all charges: second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.

In the CNN interview, Clyburn insisted that peaceful protest was the objective and the first amendment was being “criminalized” in the blowback against Waters’ rhetoric.

As previously reported by theGrio, Waters slammed all naysayers who accused her of advocating violent protest.

“I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up,” Waters told the publication. “I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation.”

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