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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Florida Democrats Respond to Byron Donalds’s “Shameful” Jim Crow Comments

Yesterday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Rep. Byron Donalds (FL-19), a potential choice for Donald Trump’s running mate, made comments defending the Jim Crow era at a recent event in Philadelphia:

“You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family was together. During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative — Black people have always been conservative-minded — but more Black people voted conservatively.”

In response, multiple Florida Democrats have condemned Byron’s comments:

FDP Chair Nikki Fried: “Byron Donalds should be ashamed of himself. Florida Republicans have been trying to rewrite our shameful history for years, but just like arguing that slavery had ‘personal benefits,’ defending Jim Crow segregation is an insult to the people who lived through it. There are still people alive today who survived Jim Crow — Ruby Bridges isn’t even 70 years old yet. Hearing one of Donald Trump’s potential VP choices lie about the violent history of segregation tells us everything we need to know about the moral bankruptcy of today’s Republican Party.”

House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell: “This is disgraceful. Misrepresenting history has become a cornerstone of the Republican platform, we must fight back against this extremism at every turn. There was nothing positive about Jim Crow. Period. Full stop. Jim Crow laws relegated Black Americans to second class status, mandated Black disenfranchisement, and sanctioned the abuse, torture and murder of Black people. It’s shameful to see this dark period in our history romanticized in an effort to score cheap political points.”

State Senator Shevrin Jones, Chair of the Miami-Dade DEC“During the Jim Crow era, Florida enacted 19 Jim Crow segregation laws between 1865 and 1967….The Black family “being together” was not because these laws were so great to us, the Black family stuck together because we were all we had.”

State Rep. Ashley Gantt“Fact: From 1900-1930 Florida was the lynching capital of the US. The family of Claude Neal, a victim of white racist domestic terrorism, would NEVER consider Jim Crow era Florida an utopia of togetherness. @ByronDonalds I weep for your ancestors. What shame you bring them.”

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