“Our movement got hijacked in the ’60s. John Lewis never asked anybody to burn anything. We were overtaken by the slogan ‘burn baby burn.’ You can’t blame John Lewis for that,” Clyburn told “Fox & Friends.”
“That’s not what I advocate,” said Clyburn, who serves as House Majority Whip and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“John Lewis and I started out as 20-year-olds. Look at my 60-year record,” Clyburn said, responding to host Brian Kilmeade asking why more Democrats are not condemning riots and looting in U.S. cities like Chicago and Portland, Ore.
Violence erupted in Portland late Sunday just blocks from the federal courthouse, after the driver of a pickup truck crashed, was reportedly pulled from the vehicle and then brutally beaten by a mob after a confrontation with protesters.
Videos that have emerged from the scene were chilling. The man identified as the driver could be seen getting punched and kicked in the middle of a city street, and ordered not to leave. The man in the video, at one point, appeared dazed after the initial assault, but suffered the worst blow when he absorbed a roundhouse kick to the side of the head.
Clyburn said that he is not to blame for anyone who wants to misuse a peaceful protest for violence or looting.
“That is not what I am and that is not what we are,” he said, adding that he does not blame “every White person” when there is a racially motivated act of violence against a Black person.
“You see me, you saw John Lewis, you see the Black Lives Matter movement. We are out here trying to help this country be a better place for our children and our grandchildren. We’re not trying to burn it down, we’re trying to build it up.”
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.