House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said the Democrats’ use of slogans such as “defund the police” cuts “the throats of the party” in a New York Times interview.
The representative said this in response to a question regarding his decision to endorse Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown for HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge’s former Ohio congressional seat over Nina Turner, who is touted to be the progressive frontrunner for the position.
“What I try to do is demonstrate by precept and example how we are to proceed as a party,” Clyburn said in the interview. “When I spoke out against sloganeering, like ‘burn, baby, burn’ in the 1960s and ‘defund the police,’ which I think is cutting the throats of the party, I know exactly where my constituents are. They are against that, and I’m against that,” he added.
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In November, Clyburn made similar comments when he told Axios that the Democratic Party struggled during the 2020 elections. They did so because they could not discipline themselves in line with voter sentiment.
However, Turner said during a June 2020 interview with Hill.TV that the connotation of “defund” as a word pushed Congres members away from reform policy. Although, she has also campaigned in connection to police reform and other progressive policy issues.
“We are programmed in this country to believe that the way policing exists today is the way that it has to be, it’s a fear-mongering kind of mentality,” Turner told the Hill.TV. adding that she thinks. “the history of the police has not been one of ‘protect and serve.’”
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Meanwhile, Clyburn’s comments come following White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s attempt to pin efforts of reducing police funding on the Republican Party. However, some Democratic places have moved to lower police funding over the previous year. This came following the death of George Floyd in May 2020 at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.