Jim Crow Byron Donalds’ remarks at a pro-Trump event in Philadelphia sparked a backlash

Trying to head off the stir he caused after suggesting that black families were stronger in the face of Jim Crow segregation at a Philadelphia event aimed at helping the GOP reach black voters, frustrated U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) he told CNN Wednesday: :

“Let’s agree on one thing: I’m, you know, obviously, one of the better communicators in the Republican Party.”

Others – many others, it turns out – seem to disagree.

” READ MORE: Rep. Byron Donalds faces backlash for expressing Jim Crow-era nostalgia at an event in Philadelphia

The backlash against Donalds, whose comments were first reported by The Inquirer on Tuesday night, was swift and unforgiving. In fact, the vitriol is so harsh that former President Donald Trump’s spokesman emphasized in an interview Thursday: “Please clarify: This was not said at an official Trump event.” Donalds has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Trump’s vice presidential running mate it would lend a hand boost his popularity in the November elections.

Here’s what you need to know about the moment in politics that started in a Philadelphia cigar bar, spread to Congress and may have reshaped Trump’s bid for the White House.

What did U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds just say in Philadelphia?

During Tuesday’s event in Philadelphia, Donalds referenced the era of racial segregation and Jim Crow disenfranchisement. He said this:

“You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family stayed together. Under Jim Crow, not only were more blacks conservative – blacks had always been conservative – but more blacks voted conservative. And then HEW, Lyndon Johnson – you went down that road and now we are where we are.

Donalds was referring to President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, which expanded social services and aid programs for low-income Americans. Many of these programs were implemented by the former U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, or HEW. Johnson introduced these laws right after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which overturned the Jim Crow-era caste system , which allowed African Americans to remain unequal second-class citizens after the abolition of slavery.

The comments, first reported by The Inquirer on Tuesday night, came during a “Congress, Cognac and Cigars” event attended by the Donalds and U.S. Rep. Wesley Hunt (R., Texas). Both men are conservative Black Republicans, and the event was the first in a series aimed at helping the GOP reach black voters and promote former President Donald Trump’s campaign to retake the White House.

Listen here:

What are people saying?

On Wednesday on the floor of the US House of Representatives entitled Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries New York didn’t hold back:

“This is a bizarre, outrageous, out-of-pocket observation” about the oppression of the Jim Crow era in the South, which lasted from 1877 to the mid-1960s.

How dare you make such ignorant observations? Better check yourself before you destroy yourself.

Sarafina Chitika, spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, was no less decisive: – says the New York Times.: :

“Donald Trump has spent his adult life, and then his presidency, undermining the progress that black communities have fought so hard for – so he is actually showing that his campaign’s “black outreach” is reaching out to the white neighborhood and promising to lead America back to Jim Crow. “

In a statement to The Inquirer on Thursday, Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, sharply criticized the president:

“The Biden campaign argues that a black member of Congress talking to a black audience about black history needs the lessons of the campaign of an 81-year-old, frail white man who told black voters if they didn’t vote for him, ‘you’re not black. This type of hypocrisy is why record numbers of black voters support President Trump.”

As it happens, Biden himself was once linked to Jim Crow references, according to the Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics. In 2019, Trump surrogates wrote this in a fundraising email “Jim Crow Joe” in nearly 50 years of public service, he has not done enough for the Black community.

IN tweet, – wrote Republican Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York“It’s ignorance. The Jim Crow era inflicted deep wounds on black families through segregation laws, economic disenfranchisement, and violence.

“Our country continues to grapple with this stain on American history.”

Admonishing Donalds along with other members of his party, the Congressional Black Caucus also spoke out Wednesday: “This is a pattern of embracing racist ideologies that we see over and over again in the MAGA Republican Party.”

Donalds’ remarks were “disgraceful and beneath the dignity of a member of the House of Representatives. He should immediately apologize to Black Americans for misrepresenting one of the darkest chapters of our history for his own political gain.”

Who is U.S. Representative Byron Donalds?

Long associated with conservative causes, Donalds, 45, was once accused by Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) of being a “prop” in support of “white supremacy.” He strongly denied the accusations.

Donalds supported Trump’s false claim that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate and voted to throw out state-certified election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. He is close with controversial Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) and has opposed gun control and investigation into the riots that occurred on January 6, 2021.

At a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago last month, Trump said Donalds had “something very special politically,” and the Florida lawmaker is still seen as a potential vice presidential candidate.

He is married to Erika Donalds, a conservative education activist. As she added, both she and her husband New York Times, have deep ties to right-wing groups like Moms for Liberty, which has done significant advocacy work in suburban Philadelphia to elect conservative school board candidates, banned books they believe “indoctrinate children with liberal ideas,” and fought mask mandates during the pandemic Covid-19. Last spring, the Moms for Liberty national convention was held in Philadelphia with the participation of Trump, who announced his 2024 bid for the White House there and attracted hundreds of protesters.

They also have ties to Hillsdale College, which has been a source of curricula taught by conservative activists, also in suburban Philadelphia.

Who is Jim Crow and how is it perceived today?

Jim Crow is the name for a racist caste system that operated primarily, but not exclusively, in the Southern and Border states between 1877 and the mid-1960s, according to Jim Crow Museum of Racist History in Big Rapids, Michigan.

“Jim Crow, the legitimization of racism against Black people, was more than a series of rigid anti-Black laws — it was a way of life,” the museum says. “Many Christian ministers taught that white people were the chosen people, black people were cursed to serve, and God supported racial segregation.”

Marriage historian Stephanie Coontz, author of “The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap,” said in an interview Thursday with The Inquirer that “marriage has taken on a magical quality that it never had during the Jim Crow era. Under the stress and adversity of Jim Crow, merely getting married did not protect blacks from the extraordinary hardships of the day.”

Lynchings, infant murders, humiliating attacks on successful blacks who had their wealth stolen, and white repression all marked this time, said Coontz, research director at the Council on Contemporary Families.

When asked for her opinion on Donalds’ statement, she stated, “It’s crazy to think that Jim Crow was better times for people just because black people had a high marriage rate.”

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