Two black members of Congress gave troubling responses when questioned about the sexual allegations surrounding Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). Both Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA) were cornered and asked by NBC News reporters why they’re seemingly giving Conyers a pass while others facing similar accusations are losing their jobs or are stepping down.
Richmond said he would need to be provided with examples. The reporter returned, “Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer.” Clyburn chimed in, “Who elected them?” and then both men disappeared into an elevator.
Clyburn has also faced criticism this week while standing by Conyers, even to the point of questioning his accusers because they’re white. (At least one of them is black, so Clyburn is being reckless with his statements.) He backed up his theory by recalling Susan Smith, the white woman who drowned her sons in 1995 and blamed it on black men. According to a writer from The New York Times, this is a favored example Clyburn likes to use. However, the Congressional Black Caucus assures that Clyburn’s use of the Smith story is just “to illustrate the dangers of convicting people before getting all the facts.”
What's more apparent is that it doesn’t appear that these congressmen take sex allegations seriously and are more interested in protecting each other. That's just good old Washington elite for you. Of course, the pressure proved too much for Clyburn who has since called on Conyers to step down. Most see that as too little, too late.
Watch a clip of the confrontation below and New York Dem Rep. Kathleen Rice’s blistering response: