Bill Clinton may be suffering from foot-in-mouth syndrome after a speech in Philadelphia went awry.
While speaking in support of his wife, Hillary, two protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement held up signs that blame Clinton for a crime bill that resulted in mass incarceration of Black youth.
Clinton engaged with the protesters for nearly 10 minutes, regarding his past actions.
However, things became heated when Hillary’s remarks that called Black men “super predators” and that they needed to “be brought to heel,” were mentioned.
While the protesters continued to disrupt the speech, Bill Clinton became visibly frustrated and began to fire back at them.
When they continuously questioned Hillary’s remarks, Bill responded, “I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn’t.” As he pointed out the protesters, he continued, “You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”
Now it is true that Hillary did in fact use the term “superpredator” when talking about Black youth, specifically relating to the 1994 Crime Bill that her husband passed; however, Hillary has since said that she regrets her comments and wants to act as an ally to the African-American community.
So where was Bill when she did that? Hopefully not off recruiting new interns. For him to honestly use a term like “hopped up on crack” is almost as antiquated as his wife’s original statements. He does not acknowledge that systemic racism was just as much to blame as the gangs themselves.
Clinton tried to defend his bill, claiming, “because of that bill we had a 25-year low in crime, a 33-year low in the murder rate and, listen to this, because of that and background check law, we had a 46-year low in the deaths of people by gun violence, and who do you think those lives were? They mattered.”
Clinton continued to go back and forth with the protesters until he finally exclaimed, “Tell the truth!” Right Bill, just like you told the truth back in ’98.
Here is a video of part of the exchange:
(Photo: Ed Hille/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)