Fox Business host Charles Payne went off on progressive lawmaker Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Monday after the congresswoman tweeted that student loan debt cancellation is a "racial justice" issue.
"Where's the racial justice?" Payne demanded on "Fox & Friends" after noting that student loan debt is held in large portions by Asians, Hispanics, and white people. He observed that wealthy, college-educated people stand to disproportionately benefit from student loan forgiveness, which is a priority for progressives.
“Progressives have hijacked the pain and suffering of black Americans for everything that they want to push," Payne said. "It's despicable; it must stop now."
"I’m gonna say something very vulgar to the progressives: Stop pimping black people, okay?” he continued, calling federal student loan cancellation "nonsensical" and "unfair" since taxpayers are being asked to pay other people's debts.
“Listen, it’s an economic disaster. It’s a farce,” he said. “You can’t tell me on one hand we are going to help people go to college and on the other hand tell me college doesn’t pay for it itself. You can’t have it both ways. One has to be correct.”
The Department of Education extended the pandemic-era moratorium on student loan repayment last week, permitting an estimated 43 million Americans until August 31 to put off loan payments without accruing additional interest. There is an outstanding $1.6 trillion in U.S. student loan debt owed to the federal government, but the Biden administration is refraining from collecting on that debt with record-high inflation squeezing Americans' pocketbooks.
Far-left Democrats have demanded that Biden go further and act to cancel U.S. student loan debt. In March, Jayapal and other progressive Democrats sent a letter to the president asking him to extend the repayment pause through the end of the year at least and writing that restarting payments "will financially destabilize many borrowers and their families, and will cause hardship for many who could not afford repayment."
"As your administration works towards rebuilding a more equitable and just economy, it should use its administrative powers to address this crisis and permanently relieve the millions of borrowers struggling with this debt," they wrote.
On Saturday, Jayapal tweeted that student debt cancellation is a "racial justice" issue, in addition to "gender justice" and "economic justice."
Payne challenged Jayapal's claim Monday, noting that black people only make up 4.8% of the people she represents in Washington's 7th Congressional District.
"Who is she really helping in her district? 73% white, over 60% graduation rate, more than double the national average. It is a gift to her white donors," Payne asserted.
"One more thing ... Who are her donors? Try Microsoft, number one donor. You know how many black people work for Microsoft? You can go down to the next train station and find more. Three percent are managers — It's one of the largest corporations in the world!" he continued. "Now here's the problem: They keep saying well, black people have more of a percentage, you know, it's harder to pay it back. That's not the college loan. That's society. That's Microsoft. That's progressive corporations who will write a check to a bogus organization and buy six million dollar house instead of really hiring people, training people. They're the ones who don't believe in black people, Microsoft, the people progressives are protecting," he said.
"The whole thing is a sham."