House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said in an interview that while he did not have an issue with Republicans or Democrats using redistricting to provide a partisan advantage, he noted that “I do have a problem when it comes to the result adversely affecting the lives of Black people.”
“Aggressive redistricting efforts, that’s one thing. To be suppressive of Black voter strength, that’s another thing,” Clyburn told CBS News’ Robert Costa.
“Yes, Democrats look for partisan advantage. Republicans look for partisan events. I don’t have a problem with either one of those parties doing that. I do have a problem when it comes to the result adversely affecting the lives of Black people.”
The top Democrat warned that the consequences of not addressing the impacts of redistricting on communities of color could be dire.
“What I think is taking place today is the beginning of a process, not the ending of one. And the question is, ‘Where will it end?’ Will it end with the intervention from the voters in 2022? Or will it get a second breath and continue until we go back to a dark place that none of us thought we would ever revisit again,” he told Costa.
Clyburn’s comments come as both parties have been criticized for gerrymandering congressional maps in their states.
The House majority whip, whom CBS News noted has seen a decrease in the percentage of Black voters he represents since redistricting, said while he viewed redistricting as “keeping balance,” he also said there is not enough of a “will” to change the process.
“Sometimes that’s because people fear for their own safety, some people fear for their own security and some people would just rather have favor than freedom,” Clyburn said during the interview.