Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Byron Donalds defends comments about Jim Crow in fiery exchange with Joy Reid

By 37ci3 Jun7,2024

Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida defended Thursday comments he made this week calling Jim Crow – a time of racial violence and segregation – as a time when the “Black family was together”.

“I never said it was better for black people in Jim Crow,” Donalds, a Florida Republican, told MSNBC’s Joy Reid during an interview on “The ReidOut” Thursday night.

The comments came after Donalds was mentioned at times potential running mate Donald Trump sparked outrage Tuesday at a campaign event for the former president in Philadelphia after he said fewer black families were torn apart during Jim Crow.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., speaks at the Black Conservative Federation's Annual BCF Honors Gala on Feb. 23, 2024, in Columbia.
Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., at the Black Conservative Federation’s annual BCF Honors Gala on Feb. 23 in Columbia, S.C.Andrew Harnik / AP file

“Don’t try to accept that marriage rates were better — higher, higher, I want to be clear — higher during the Jim Crow era, which I think Jim Crow was great,” Donalds said. it’s a lie. That is, gas lighting. I would never say such a word.”

Donald Trump’s campaign surrogate embraced Democrats and suggested things are getting worse for black people at an event aimed at reaching out to black voters in a battleground state in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. He pointed to programs passed by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s that included expanding federal food stamps, housing, welfare and Medicaid for low-income Americans.

“You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family was together. During the Jim Crow era, more black people were not just conservative — black people have always been conservative — but more black people voted conservative,” Donalds told the audience Tuesday.

When Reid pointed out that the Jim Crow South was marked by limited rights for blacks, such as being blocked from voting, and said Donalds was “inaccurate,” the Florida Republican responded, “No, I’m not inaccurate.”

“All I’m talking about is black families,” Donalds said.

Donalds’ comments Thursday echoed earlier defenses amid criticism from Democrats, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who denounced Donalds’ remarks as a “strange, outrageous and out-of-pocket observation.”

The Biden-Harris campaign also responded to Trump’s comments that he spent his “teenage life, then his presidency, undermining the progress that black communities fought so hard for” — essentially tracking his campaign’s “Black propaganda” toward whites. next door and vowed to return America to Jim Crow.

Donalds said Wednesday that the Biden campaign is “lying” and “gassing” because “they’re trying to say that I said black people were better off under Jim Crow.”

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