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Rep. James Clyburn. Photo: Cheriss May/Getty Images

Last week's assault on the Capitol felt personal to Black Americans, who found the violence similar to what they experienced during the civil rights riots of the 1960s, Rep. James Clyburn told Axios.

Why it matters: Clyburn said the pitched assault by President Trump's supporters, some of whom have ties to white supremacist movements, has prompted an important question for him and many African Americans: "Are we getting ready to repeat some history that we thought we'd successfully gotten behind us?"

The answer is not what some might expect.

  • The South Carolina Democrat said impeaching Trump for helping trigger the mayhem represents a "renewal" for the country after four years of questioning "whether democracy is on the wane" because of the president's unchecked actions. 

Background: The country's seat of government was targeted by mobs carrying Confederate flags and shouting racist attacks, including some directed at Black U.S. Capitol Police officers. Those acts infuriated Black lawmakers.

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said during a Congressional Black Caucus briefing Wednesday that "this president is headed toward a civil war, and we are the object of their hate."
  • During the impeachment remarks on the House floor, freshman Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) called Trump "a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection."

What they're saying: In a phone call with Axios on Thursday, Clyburn said that even if the Senate doesn't convict him, Trump "has not gotten away with" the charges or the resulting stain on his political legacy. 

  • "The Trump presidency reminded us that there are a lot of things from our past that we could very well revisit, and I think he set out to do that," Clyburn said. "I might not be so concerned about these things if I had not spent my entire life studying history."
  • "Woodrow Wilson got away with it, and I was hopeful Trump wouldn’t get away with it," said Clyburn. Impeaching him, Clyburn said is "what I mean when I said, ‘renewal.’” 

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.