Former President Bill Clinton, who was blasted by Black leaders for his campaign tactics during his wife’s run against Barack Obama, is back to the kind of talk that made him a star in the Black community.
On Saturday, during Major League Baseball’s Beacon Awards Luncheon in Cincinnati, Clinton said that racial equality in America is still a long way off – despite the election of Obama as president. The color divide is still much too wide when it comes to economics, education and social justice, the former president said.
This is the kind of message that African Americans had become accustomed to from Clinton. But during the presidential campaign, he lost considerable favor among Blacks as he dismissed Obama as a political novice, no different than Jesse Jackson. Clinton argued that his wife, Hillary, who would later be appointed Secretary of State by President Obama, was more qualified and more deserving.
Others taking part in Saturday’s festivities were Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron, former World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali and entertainer Bill Cosby, all of whom were honored for their contributions to civil rights and charity. To honor these greats, Clinton said people must “recognize that this struggle is nowhere near over.”
In 1997, President Clinton took part in a 1997 ceremony retiring Jackie Robinson's No. 42 uniform number.