Columbia, S.C. – Jim Clyburn, a veteran of peaceful protests during the student movement of the 1960s, made the following statement in response to the unrest that has erupted following the death of George Floyd.
“Watching four police officers collaboratively snuff the life out of an unarmed, defenseless black man propelled me beyond anger. And, as many of you, I am searching for how best to respond.
“Good, better and best are superlatives we learned at a very young age. Being on the case is a good thing and I commend those who are. Staying on the case is even better. But the best response, in my opinion, is to get organized and stay focused. My colleague Congresswoman Barbara Lee would say, ‘Stay woke,’ and my colleague and friend for more than 50 years, Congressman John Lewis, would say we must ‘keep our eyes on the prize.’
“Firebombing police cars, burning down businesses and ravishing our neighborhoods dishonor the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and will destroy thousands of livelihoods. We can honor them by organizing to change the climate created by President Trump’s insulting tweets, racist policies and nominations of unqualified federal judges; and his Republican friends who are tolerating those insults, codifying those policies and confirming those judges.
“Let’s start organizing now. Let’s join the Mayors of Chicago and Columbia, the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, the plethora of civil and human rights groups, and the millions of people across the country who are organizing to make their displeasures known at the ballot box in November.”