As Cheddar celebrates Black History Month, House Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn (D-S.C. 6th District) shared his expectations of President Joe Biden while his new administration gets settled in.
With Black Americans and other minority groups disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic both economically and physically, Clyburn noted that the president has to get a grasp on the virus with testing, tracing, and vaccinations before focusing on rebuilding the economy.
"When things get stabilized, then it's time for us to look at how we go out and generate a new economy," he said. "That's why I'm so proud of the fact that in [Biden's] very first move, he made it very clear: this is a rescue."
The South Carolina Democrat, however, mentioned that closing existing gaps across a range of areas, including wealth and education, has to be a priority for the Biden administration. He also said the country will not be able to make progress without facing the stark racial divisions that have left the country so flawed.
It was a similar sentiment for Clyburn when it came to addressing the extremism on display in the U.S. such as that of the Capitol Hill riots. While he said he believes it is possible to put an end to hate groups and domestic terrorism, he said the country has to do more self-reflection and hold itself accountable.
"We've never done enough and simply because we've never admitted [domestic terrorism] existed. That's a big problem. You cannot solve a problem until you admit that there is a problem, otherwise, you're simply ignoring and hoping it will go away," Clyburn noted, linking modern extremist groups such as the Proud Boys to the likes of the older Ku Klux Klan.
The South Carolina representative also said that he's confident that President Biden will work towards addressing the growing issue of domestic terror.
Clyburn added that he wants the president to honor the late John Lewis and focus on securing future U.S. elections. Following the volatile November elections that seated Biden and the January Senate races in Georgia that saw two Democrats unseat their GOP counterparts, Republican officials in the state have been looking to clamp down further on voter ID laws.
"That, to me, if we were able to move [the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act] rather quickly and put that in law, we will have a lasting impact for John Lewis because it's in that law that we will stop some of the voter suppression that is taking place, that was doubled down upon after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965," he said.