Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slams GOP congressman who said Blacks were better off under Jim Crow segregation

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries ripped a fellow congressman for suggesting that Black people were better off during the era of Jim Crow segregation.

The Democratic House minority leader on Wednesday slammed Rep. Byron Donalds, who is also Black, as “ignorant” and a “so-called leader” after the Florida Republican said segregation kept Black families together.

“That’s an outlandish, outrageous and out-of-pocket observation,” the Brooklyn lawmaker said in a brief speech on the House floor. “How dare you make such an ignorant observation? You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Jeffries ticked off a laundry list of obstacles faced by African Americans during the Jim Crow era, including lynching, rape and disenfranchisement.

“We were not better off when children could be denied a high-quality education without consequence because of Jim Crow,” Jeffries added.

The Democratic leader was hitting back after Donalds made his controversial remarks Tuesday at a Black Republican outreach event in Philadelphia.

The pro-Trump lawmaker from Fort Myers, who is said to be on the former president’s vice presidential short list, sought to show nostalgia for an era when Black voters supported Republicans, which he attributed to a greater emphasis on family values.

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

Donalds hit back at Jeffries Wednesday, saying his words were twisted and blaming Democrats for instituting the welfare state following the civil rights era that ended segregation.

“What I said was … it was the Democrat policies … under the welfare state, that did help to destroy the Black family,” Donalds said.

The war of words comes as Trump seeks to win a bigger share of Black votes in his looming White House rematch with President Biden.

Polls say Biden’s support is soft among Blacks, a key Democratic voting bloc that traditionally delivers massive margins to Team Blue in presidential races.

Biden campaign aides say they are confident Black voters will come home by November. But in a sign of possible concern, the president journeyed to Philadelphia last week to appeal directly for Black support during a joint campaign appearance with Vice President Kamala Harris.

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