* Racist Statements & Allegations by Democrat Legislators

  • Statements & Allegations by Black Legislators At an August 22, 2011 Congressional Black Caucus event in Miami, Rep. Andre Carson told a gathering of supporters that the Tea Party was infested with white racism: “This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to […]

Statements & Allegations by Black Legislators

At an August 22, 2011 Congressional Black Caucus event in Miami, Rep. Andre Carson told a gathering of supporters that the Tea Party was infested with white racism: “This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us [blacks] as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree. Some of them right now in Congress right now are comfortable with where we were fifty or sixty years ago.

In May 2010, Andre Carson told a Washington Times reporter that the Tea Party represented “one of the largest threats to our internal security … I mean terrorism has an Islamic face, but it really comes from racial supremacist groups.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke characterized the conservative Tea Party movement as a haven for “crazy” individuals representing “the ugliest sides of the United States of America”; as a movement whose members had “no problems with [hurling] racial epithets and “no problem with cursing, spitting and everything else” at their political and ideological adversaries; and as an alliance of people “who, for whatever reason, feel like something is being taken away from them when we give [through taxpayer-funded programs] to others.”

In a May 9, 2017 podcast with The Washington PostMaxine Waters asserted that former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, whom President Donald Trump had appointed as Attorney General, was “a racist”; “a throwback to the days of Jim Crow in the South”; a man who “absolutely believes that it’s his job to keep minorities in their place”; and a man sympathetic to the Ku Klux Klan. She said it was “very dangerous” for the U.S. to have Sessions as the Attorney General, given the fact that “we’re still faced with the fact that police officers will not be charged criminally, for the most part, for killing people of color.”

In 2001 Maxine Waters depicted the retiring moderate Republican mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan, as a “plantation owner.”

In the aftermath of an August 23, 2020 incident in which a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin had shot and wounded a black criminal suspect, Maxine Waters tweeted: “When will it stop? When will the police that we pay to protect & serve stop killing black people? In the words of [NBA coach] Doc Rivers: ‘We keep loving this country, and this country does not love us back?’ But love doesn’t last forever! Another unarmed black man, shot in the back, by a WI police officer! No matter the outrage at the [May 25, 2020] killing of George Floyd by a police officer, knee on his neck, the killing of black men continues. Is this a defiance by the police that indicates they don’t intend to stop?”

While delivering a eulogy during the September 16, 2017 funeral of the late comedian and social critic Dick Gregory, Maxine Waters attacked Trump, saying: “I’m cleaning out the White House. We’re going to sanitize the White House. We’re not going to take what is happening in this country. Haven’t you taken enough? And then comes along this person. This person who does not respect you. This dishonorable human being who cheats everybody! This dishonorable human being who will lie at the drop of a hat. This dishonorable human being who has the alt-right, and the KKK and everybody else inside his Cabinet! This dishonorable human being who can criticize everybody but [Vladimir] Putin and Russia…. Not only are we going to clean out the White House. We’re going to take back the house that slaves built!…”

Maxine Waters objected strenuously to the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in Shelby County [Alabama] v. Holder, where the Court ruled that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act — a provision that required states with histories of election-related discrimination to obtain federal pre-approval for any new voting measure they wished to adopt — was unconstitutional, as it had become nothing more than an anachronism. Waters denounced the new ruling as a “slick, calculated, dastardly decision to keep us [blacks] from voting and keep us from the voting booth.”

Maxine Waters likewise objected to North Carolina’s July 2013 decision to approve new laws requiring voters to present government-issued IDs at their polling places, shortening the early voting period from 17 days to 10, doing away with same-day voter registration, and requiring that any changes in voter registration be made at least 25 days before an election. Asserting that “North Carolina has just gone crazy,” Waters condemned “the right-wing Republicans” who were “pushing restrictive voter ID legislation” not only in North Carolina but “in states around the country,” in order to “make it more difficult for us [blacks] to make our voices heard.”

In June 2019, Marcia Fudge went to the House floor and read a letter from one of her constituents in Ohio, where the writer stated: “It is glaringly apparent that many who support the president’s [Donald Trump’s] administration are either racists, steeped in religious beliefs, ignorant, or as my mother used to say, just plain dumb.”

At the Democratic National Convention in September 2012, John Lewis gave a speech in which he accused Republicans of seeking to bring back the days of Jim Crow segregation. After extensively describing the racism and violence that he personally had encountered during his own activist days in the South during the 1950 and ’60s, Lewis told the raucous crowd of some 20,000: “I’ve seen this before, I lived this before. We were met by an angry mob that beat us and left us lying in a pool of blood. Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back? Or do you want to keep America moving forward?”

In a June 2020 interview with Politico, Rep. Bobby Rush likened Chicago law-enforcement to the Ku Klux Klan: “The number-one cause that prevents police accountability, that promotes police corruption, that protects police lawlessness, is a culprit called the Fraternal Order of Police. They’re the organized guardians of continuous police lawlessness, of police murder and police brutality. The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is the most rabid, racist body of criminal lawlessness by police in the land. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the Ku Klux Klan then and the Ku Klux Klan now.”

In early 2007, William Lacy Clay Jr. made headlines when he strongly objected to an attempt by U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, a Caucasian Democrat who represented a majority-black district in Memphis, to become the first white member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). “He’s white and the Caucus is black,” Clay told reporters. “It’s time to move on. We [the CBC] have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It’s an unwritten rule. It’s understood. It’s clear.” In reply to Cohen’s subsequent complaint about having been denied admittance to the CBC, Clay issued this official statement: “Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept — there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it’s our turn to say who can join ‘the club.’ He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.”

According to Kamala Harris: “The reality is that the life of a black person in America has never been treated as fully human… It’s no wonder people are taking to the streets [to protest]. And I support them.”

At a February 2019 campaign stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Kamala Harris said she was in favor of doing away with Columbus Day and replacing it with Indigenous People’s Day. She told the crowd that “we are the scene of a crime when it comes to what we did with slavery and Jim Crow and institutionalized racism in this country, and we have to be honest about that.”

On June 2, 2020, Kamala Harris delivered a speech in which she emphasized her belief that America always has been, and still is, a racist nation. Some excerpts:

  • “In the last couple of days, I’ve been saying America is raw right now. Her wounds are exposed. The reality of it is that the life of a Black person in America historically, and even recently with Mr. Floyd, has never been treated as fully human. And it is time that we come to terms with the fact that America has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has existed in our country. […]
  • “And I can say, with full certainty that it is time that the leaders in this United States Senate, in this United States Congress, take action to reform a criminal justice system that for far too long, has been informed by systemic racism and by racial bias. It is time that we say that bad cops are bad for good cops. It is time that we say that one should not be subjected to the indignity of being told to get on your knees and put your hands behind your head, simply because you are walking while Black. And it happens every day in America. There’s not a black man I know, be he a relative, a friend, or a coworker, or colleague, who has not been the subject of some form of racial discrimination at the hands of law enforcement, not one I know.

On June 4, Cosmopolitan magazine published an opinion piece written by Kamala Harris, in which she again discussed what she views as the intransigent scourge of American racism. Some excerpts:

  • “As I stood among the sea of people gathered outside the White House, I was overcome with emotion. I reflected on the fact that from the moment a Black woman gives birth to a child and holds her baby’s fragile body in her hand, she fears that that body could be viewed as a threat and that someone may try to do harm to her child….
  • “Let’s speak the truth: People are protesting because Black people have been treated as less than human in America. Because our country has never fully addressed the systemic racism that has plagued our country since its earliest days.”

With regard to the ongoing protests against alleged police brutality and “systemic racism,” Kamala Harris said on August 27, 2020: “The reality is that the life of a black person in America has never been treated as fully human. We have yet to fulfill that promise of equal justice under the law. It’s no wonder people are taking to the streets. And I support them.”

When Republican Attorney General Bill Barr stated in 2020 that “I don’t agree that there is systemic racism in police departments generally in this country,” Kamala Harris said: “I think that Donald Trump and Bill Barr are spending full time in a different reality. The reality of America today is, what we have seen over generations and frankly since our inception, which is we do have two systems of justice in America.”

Notwithstanding activist Al Sharpton‘s long history as a highly prominent racist, black supremacist, and Jew-hater, Kamala Harris in July 2019 lauded him as a “friend” who “has spent his life fighting for what’s right.”

In a March 2020 interview with Axios on HBOJames Clyburn raised the specter of Hitler when speaking about Donald Trump, calling the president a racist and likening modern-day America to Germany during the Nazi Party’s rise to power. “I used to wonder how could the people of Germany allow Hitler to exist,” said Clyburn. “But with each passing day, I’m beginning to understand how. And that’s why I’m trying to sound the alarm.” Claiming that Trump had told more than 30 lies during his recent State of the Union address, the congressman added: “Fully half of those lies, the Republican side of the House stood up and cheered they knew that was not true. But they cheered him on. I really believe that the people of Germany knew Adolf Hitler was lying. And before they knew it, they no longer had a chancellor but a dictator. Anything that’s happened before can happen again.”

In March 2014, Alabama State Rep. Alvin Holmes said: “Ninety-nine percent of the all of the white people in here are going to raise their hand that they are against abortion. “On the other hand, 99 percent of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion.”

When a Republican-led Congress pushed for tax cuts in 1994, Charles Rangel denounced the plan as a form of modern-day racism whose hidden intent was to decrease public benefits for nonwhite minorities. “It’s not ‘spic’ or ‘ni**er’ anymore,” he raged. “[Instead,] they say, ‘Let’s cut taxes.’”

When Republicans in the 1990s sought to reform a bloated and abused welfare system through budget cuts, Rangel remonstrated that the planned reforms were beneath even the standards of Nazi Germany: “Hitler wasn’t even talking about doing these things,” he said.

While campaigning for Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer in New York in 2001, Rangel suggested that racism would be to blame if the Hispanic Ferrer were to lose to his white rivals in the party primary. Speaking before a Democratic audience, Rangel asked, “How do you feel our hurt when you go to apply for a job and you see three whites there and you know before the interview that you’re not going to get it?”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the powerful storm that ravaged the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Rangel claimed that the federal government’s allegedly slow response was due to the fact that a disproportionate share of the victims were black: “If you’re black in this country, and you’re poor in this country, it’s not an inconvenience—it’s a death sentence.”

In the course of addressing the Congressional Black Caucus in September of 2005, Rangel, still exploiting the aftermath of Katrina, likened President Bush to the late Theophilus “Bull” Connor, the Alabama police commissioner who in 1963 turned fire hoses and attack dogs on blacks who were demonstrating in favor of civil rights. “George Bush is our Bull Connor,” said Rangel. (Note: Connor was a Democrat.)

In August 2013 Rangel derided members of the conservative Tea Party movement as “the same group we faced in the South [during the early civil-rights movement], with those white crackers and the dogs and the police” and a “fierce indifference to human life.”

In March 2014 Rangel again smeared Tea Party activists as racists: “They are mean, racist people. Now why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states. They had the Confederate flag. They became Dixiecrats; they had the Confederate flag. They’re now the Tea Party; they still got the Confederate [flag]. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. There is nothing the president [Obama] can do—not love of country, not love of party—that they’re not prepared to kill themselves to get to him.”

In a July 2014 appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Rangel yet again suggested that Tea Party activists were “white racists,” stating: “[T]he Confederate flag didn’t belong to them. It belonged to their grandparents. They still wave it. And the opposition to voting didn’t belong to the Republican Party. They brought that with them to the Tea Party.”

In a June 9, 2020 interview on SiriusXM, Bonnie Watson Coleman accused President Trump and White House adviser Stephen Miller of being “absolute racists.” She said: “Are you kidding me? How do you have a Donald Trump as president of the United States of America? How do you have a white supremacist like Stephen Miller in there so close to Trump, advising him in his ear, creating and putting a fire on all of this hatred that we have in this country, and that has just been manifested in vile ways [a reference to a May 25 incident where a black Minneapolis man named George Floyd had died after being subjected to physical abuse by a white police officer]? How do you, what do you expect from them? I expect them to get up there and talk about nothing. Because they don’t care about black folks, they don’t think that we have any value. They are absolute racists, in what they are, and who they are, and what they say and what they do. And their racism and their hatefulness for other people is manifested in the policies that this president has signed into through his executive orders.”

In a November 27, 1989 piece titled “Minister [Louis] Farrakhan Never Claimed to Be a ‘Malcolm X’,” Keith Ellison laid out his views about racism: “Racism means conspiracy to subjugate and actual subjugation. That means planned social, economic, military, religious and political subjugation of whites. It cannot be intelligently argued that the Nation of Islam is doing this. In fact, blacks have no history of harming or subjecting whites as a class. On the other hand, whites have it written into their very Constitution that blacks shall be considered three-fifths of a person for purposes of taxation and representation of their white owners. Their Constitution also makes provisions for the return of runaway slaves. Their constitution is the bedrock of American law; it’s the best evidence of a white racist conspiracy to subjugate other peoples.”

In June 2017, Hakeem Jeffries stood on the House floor and said that “so many folks dripping in hatred flocked to [Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential] candidacy,” and that Trump’s election represented a racist “backlash” against “eight years of progress” in America. “Why would people that worship at the altar of white supremacy [be] drawn to Donald Trump’s campaign?” Jeffries asked. “That’s not to say that every American who voted for Donald Trump is a racist,” he added. “We do know that every racist in America voted for Donald Trump. That’s a problem.” Further, Jeffries said it was unlikely that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would prosecute hate crimes, because he was “straight out of central casting” for a “good ol’ boy.”

In a January 1, 2019 speech at a Baptist church in Atlanta, Rep. Hank Johnson likened President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. Among his remarks were the following:

  • “Much like how Hitler took over the Nazi party, Trump has taken over the Republican Party.”
  • “Hitler was accepting of violence towards the achievement of political objectives. Trump encouraged violence against protesters at his rallies.”
  • “Americans, particularly black Americans, can’t afford to make that same mistake about the harm that could be done by a man named Hitler or a man named Trump.”
  • “Americans elected an authoritarian, an anti-immigrant, racist strongman to the nation’s highest office. Donald Trump and his ‘Make America Great Again’ followers…want to return American back to a time where white men and white privilege were unchallenged, and where minorities and women were in their place.”

In July 2010, Sheila Jackson Lee spoke at an NAACP meeting where she derided the conservative Tea Party movement as a racist phenomenon, saying: “All those who wore [Klansman] sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing, uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the Tea Party. Don’t you be fooled. Those who used to wear sheets are now being able to walk down the aisle and speak as a patriot because you will not speak loudly about the lack of integrity of this movement.”

In 2011 Sheila Jackson Lee denounced congressional committee hearings on Islamic terrorism as “an effort to demonize and to castigate a whole broad base of human beings.” Complaining that the committee was giving too little attention to “the cold cases of the civil-rights movement,” she encouraged its members to hold hearings to determine “whether Klansmen still roam today and terrorize individuals in parts of this country.”

At a House Homeland Security Committee hearing in August 2019, Sheila Jackson Lee spoke about the urgent need to address the allegedly growing level of white racism plaguing America. “I believe that racism… should be declared a national security threat,” she said. “Racism is a national security threat. Before, we would say, ‘you have a right to your racist views. You have a right to believe that slavery was right. That segregation was right.’ We live in an era where that can no longer be allowed.” Asserting that FBI statistics showed “an acceleration” of the incidence of hate crimes since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, the congresswoman said that “young, disaffected white males” were the principal offenders. “We must find a way to invest huge sums of money intervening in these white minds that are drawn to white militia, white supremacy, white nationalism because they have nothing else to do — no intervention, no recreation, no libraries, no training of communities,” Jackson Lee added.

In February 2019, Cory Booker said: “We know in America that bigoted and biased attacks are on the rise, in a serious way. We actually know in this country, that since 9/11 the majority of the terrorist attacks on our soil have been right wing terrorist attacks, the majority of them white supremacist attacks….”

When interviewed on an April 27, 2014 “New Nation of Islam” webcast, Rep. Bennie Thompson accused Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant of opposing Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) “just because a black man created it.” He added that President George W. Bush’s Medicare prescription drug plan had generated far less opposition than Obamacare because “when a black man comes up with an idea [for healthcare] there’s something wrong with it. So again, it’s that race creeping into the picture.”

In April 2014, Emanuel Cleaver condemned Republican Congressman Paul Ryan for having recently cited research by Bell Curve author (and American Enterprise Institute scholar) Charles Murray in his (Ryan’s) lamentation about “this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” Cleaver grossly mischaracterized Murray as a purveyor of “racist sewage” and “white supremacy” who believes that “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

In an early November 2014 interview with MSNBC, on the eve of the midterm elections, James Clyburn said: “For anybody to say there’s nothing that is racial about some of the animus being expressed by [toward] President Obama, you’re not telling the truth. We know with a lot of people, I don’t care what he does. He’s not going to be acceptable because of his skin color.”

In March 2019, Rep. Al Green mischaracterized the Trump administration policy of placing the children of illegal aliens into a shelter while detaining their parents — a practice that was the only legal alternative to simply releasing everyone involved into the U.S. interior — as “a corrupt policy that separates babies from their mothers and places them in cages.” “There are those who believe that we already have too many people of color in this country,” he added. “And these, one of whom happens to be the president of the United States of America, would institute policies that will prevent people of color from coming to this country. White babies would not be treated the way these babies of color are being treated…. This is about color…. [W]e now have our quota of people of color.”

Racist Statements & Allegations by White Legislators

In a 1975 interview with NPR, Senator Joe Biden argued that black people in fact preferred segregation school because they felt it was in their best interests:

“I think the concept of busing … that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride a rejection of the entire black awareness concept, where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied; and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality….

“There are those of we social planners who think somehow that if we just subrogate [sic] man’s individual characteristics and traits by making sure that a presently a heterogeneous society becomes a totally homogeneous society, that somehow we’re going to solve our social ills. And quite to the contrary, I think the concept of busing, which implicit in that concept is the question you just asked or the statement within the question you just asked, that we are going to integrate people so that they all have the same access and they learn to grow up with one another and all the rest, is a rejection of the whole movement of black pride, is a rejection of the entire black awareness concept where black is beautiful, black culture should be studied, and the cultural awareness of the importance of their own identity, their own individuality. And I think that’s a healthy, solid proposal….

“I give you my word as a Biden, I put in over 100 hours, by far — I would say close to 300 hours — on just torturing this [anti-busing concept]. Calling my staff together, and the blacks on my staff together, saying ‘Look, this is what I think. Do you think I am [racist]? Is there something in me that’s deep-seated that I don’t know?’”

In July 2006, Biden made a remark that was intended to be humorous, but sparked some criticism: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. And I’m not joking.”

In a February 2007 interview, Biden, in the course of evaluating presidential rival Barack Obamasaid: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

At a June 2007 Democratic presidential forum at Howard University, Biden responded to a question about AIDS in the black community by saying: “I spent last summer going through the black sections of my town holding rallies in parks trying to get black men to understand it’s not unmanly to wear a condom. Getting women to understand they can say no. Getting people in the position where testing matters. I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack [Obama] got tested for AIDS. There’s no shame in being tested for AIDS.” At that point, Obama said, “I just gotta make clear I got tested with Michelle [Obama] when we were in Kenya in Africa. I don’t want any confusion here about what’s going on.” Biden then said, “I got tested to save my life, because I had 13 pints of blood transfusion.”

In an October 27, 2007 interview with The Washington Post‘s editorial board, Biden, while discussing race and education, gave the impression that he believed that the reason why so many District of Columbia schools failed, was that they had large numbers of nonwhite minority students. After criticizing the Bush administration’s education policies, Biden attempted to explain why schools in Iowa performed better academically than those in Washington, DC.: “There’s less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you’re dealing with.”

Near the end of a May 2020 interview on The Breakfast Club, a radio program popular with black listeners and hosted by a man calling himself Charlamagne tha God, the host told Biden that he would like to ask him some additional questions before the November election. In response, Biden said: “I tell you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”