Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Bill Clinton's Clash with Black Lives Matter Won't Affect Hillary's Black Vote

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Why Bill Clinton's Clash with Black Lives Matter Won't Affect Hillary's Black Vote

Article excerpt

At a rally in support of Hillary Clinton ahead of Pennsylvania's Democratic primary, former president Bill Clinton clashed with the protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement in the latest flare- up between its activists and Mrs. Clinton's campaign trail.

Holding several signs against the former president's crime policies, which the protesters say are responsible for incarcerating a disproportionate number of African-Americans, the protestors interrupted Mr. Clinton's speech to criticize Mrs. Clinton's support of a crime bill enacted during his own presidency in the mid-1990s. "Clinton's crime bill destroyed our communities," one sign read.

"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," Mr. Clinton told the protesters, alluding to the activists' criticism of speech his wife gave in 1996 in which she referenced the term "superpredators" - coined by John DiIulio, a professor at Princeton, and used to describe increasing number of young African-American men who committed high-end crimes without any seeming remorse. She apologized for the statement in February.

"Maybe you thought they were good citizens. [Hillary] didn't....You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth," Mr. Clinton added.

Since she started her campaign, Mrs. Clinton has had to confront the consequences of the crime bill, often encountering Black Lives Matter protesters at campaign rallies, where they demand an explanation as to why she endorsed the tough-on-crime measure.

Yet she continues to be popular among black voters. In the recent primaries she commanded a stronger support than her Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders among African-Americans, often by double-digit margins.

And the confrontation in Philadelphia may have caused a widespread outrage among the activists and other Clinton critics, but it's unlikely to have a significant impact on her command of the African-American vote in the upcoming primaries. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.