Columbia, SC — I appreciate the correction in Friday’s paper that I never said (because I don’t believe) that Lillian McBride is only being attacked because she is a black woman. I also appreciate Cindi Scoppe’s admission to my office that she was wrong when she reported otherwise (“Lillian McBride and the politics of race,” Thursday).
Perhaps many who read this newspaper’s coverage of the Richland County election were left with the impression that I had said such things because it was portrayed that I “injected” myself into the debate and served as a “prominent defender” of Mrs. McBride.
The sum total of what I have said on this matter amounts to one newspaper interview (with another paper), one radio show and two statements provided to The State — all at the journalists’ request. My message was to express concern about a rush to judgment.
During my appearance on Cynthia Hardy’s On Point radio show, I said “that state elected officials ought to be allowed to do their work, and I am trying to stay out of their business.” I also promoted true early voting and moving Election Day from Tuesday to the weekend. Those constructive issues were not reported; rather The State chose to focus on Mrs. McBride’s race.
The inaccurate, and I believe incendiary, column by Cindi Scoppe lashed out against the racially tinged story that surrounded Mrs. McBride’s performance in the November election. This newspaper would do well to look at its coverage of this matter and question what role it played in promoting that agenda. Ms. Scoppe clearly got her erroneous impression of my position from somewhere, but it wasn’t from the facts.
U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn