Top Dem Defends Pelosi's Claim George Floyd 'Sacrificed His Life for Justice'
‘I realized what she meant,’ Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said
The third-highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives defended Nancy Pelosi's bizarre remarks that George Floyd sacrificed himself for justice.
Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) told CNN he understood what she meant, despite the massive backlash, and disregarded it as mere grammar mix-up.
“I realized what she meant,” said Clyburn.
“My goodness. All of us sometimes put the infinitive in the wrong place."
"It was ‘for having sacrificed your life,’ rather than ‘sacrificing.’
"She just used the wrong infinitive, and I wish we all had time to consult our grammar books every time we got ready to speak. We don’t do that.”
“So she meant absolutely nothing by that but exactly what she corrected in her tweet,” he said.
“He did sacrifice his life, maybe against his will, but he did.”
Pelosi’s remarks seemed to suggest Floyd died willingly for 'justice,' even though he was pinned own by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin before he died.
“Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice,” said Pelosi.
“For being there to call out to your mom — how heartbreaking was that — call out for your mom, ‘I can’t breathe.’"
Speaker Pelosi at the Congressional Black Caucus presser after Chauvin verdict:— The Recount (@therecount) April 20, 2021
“Thank you George Floyd for sacrificing your life for justice.” pic.twitter.com/JfapSsKdtX
"But because of you, and because of thousands, millions of people around the world who came out for justice, your name will always be synonymous with justice.”
Pelosi later said in a Twitter statement that Floyd should still be alive today in an apparent move to distance herself from her weird comments.
“George Floyd should be alive today. His family’s calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don’t suffer the same racism, violence & pain,” said Pelosi.
George Floyd should be alive today. His family’s calls for justice for his murder were heard around the world. He did not die in vain. We must make sure other families don't suffer the same racism, violence & pain, and we must enact the George Floyd #JusticeInPolicing Act. https://t.co/tWln9NRg1g— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 20, 2021
But Pelosi's comments drew massive backlash.
Ryan Grim, Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the Intercept and a contributor to The Young Turks, wrote:
“You have to imagine Pelosi tried that line out on people around her earlier, and they nodded along as if it wasn’t one of the most offensive things they’d ever heard."
You have to imagine Pelosi tried that line out on people around her earlier and they nodded along as if it wasn’t one of the most offensive things they’d ever heard.— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) April 21, 2021
"Clearly, this is a poorly constructed line. Floyd didn’t want to ‘sacrifice’ his life,” wrote CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza.
“Pelosi’s comment seems to bizarrely suggest that Floyd had some choice in the situation, when in actuality he had zero say or control over whether a police stop would end in his death.”
New York Times reporter Astead Wesley wrote:
“Thank you George Floyd…for being murdered?”
thank you George Floyd....for being murdered? https://t.co/DAT9N60Dxh— Astead (@AsteadWesley) April 20, 2021
“What the hell,” tweeted Townhall editor Guy Benson.
what the hell https://t.co/BOvG9LqMUu— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 20, 2021
“An absolutely bizarre statement from Nancy Pelosi about a man murdered by law enforcement,” said Timmothy Burke.