Bill in Philly

A lot of people upset about this. Take a listen, tell me what you think:

Halfway through his address, Erica Mines, a Hunting Park native, started yelling at Clinton over several issues, including his 1994 crime bill. Mines argued that the Clintons’ record has been one of detriment to the black community.

She and another man held up alternating signs, one reading: “Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities!” The former commander-in-chief responded to the sign saying, “Let’s talk about that,” as Mines continued yelling over his responses.

“I like protesters but the ones that won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth,” Clinton said, prompting loud cheers. He went on to say how he thinks the bill, and his wife, helped the black community.

“Because of that bill we had a 25-year low in crime, a 30-year low in the murder rate and because of that and the background check law, a 46-year low in deaths of lives by gun violence and who do you think those lives were that mattered? Whose lives were saved that mattered?” Clinton asked.

He noted his wife, a former senator from New York, wasn’t in the Senate at the time the bill was passed, “she was spending her time trying to get healthcare for poor kids – who were they? And their lives matter,” he said.

In one of the more controversial moments of his address, Clinton responded to a second sign, “Black youth are not super predators” — a reference to a comment his wife made in the 1990s.

“I don’t know how you would describe the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped up on crack and sent them out in the streets to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens, she didn’t,” he said of Hillary. “You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth!”

Clinton also pointed to his wife’s work with Marian Wright Edelman at the Children’s Defense Fund and work she had done to fight AIDS in Africa, to try and illustrate her resume helping minorities.

“I’ll tell you another story about a place where black lives matter: Africa,” Clinton said.

Mines, 38, a student at the Community College of Philadelphia, said following the rally that nothing the former president said changed her opinion. Mines said she’s a registered Independent who doesn’t plan on voting. She said she didn’t come representing any group.

“I’m here because Hillary Clinton doesn’t deserve the black vote,” she told reporters after the rally, as Clinton shook hands and posed for photos nearby. “She is married to Bill Clinton, their policies are the same. You can’t separate them. They think the same.”

4 thoughts on “Bill in Philly

  1. You asked what we thought. I think there are important, substantive problems that the African-American community suffers disproportionately, and that are not being addressed by the current political system’s officeholders on either side of the aisle. They appear to me justifiably frustrated and no longer willing to be patient, and seek to confront people who are seeking office (or their spokespeople) in every forum they can make a splash. They are disruptive, yes, but not as disruptive as a SWAT team delivering no-knock warrants with flash grenades. Or being pulled over and given arbitrary traffic tickets for driving while black. Or as disruptive as an education system that serves as a minor league feeder system that renders minority youth into fodder for the prison-industrial complex. They’re making the finger-wagging Hickey Freeman-and-penny-loafer-wearing class uncomfortable. They should be uncomfortable. Not only have they not been doing anything for the African-American community, they haven’t even been listening. For decades. And as far as I can tell, that includes the “Black Misleadership Class” as identified by Glen Ford. I may not always agree with BLM, but Good On Them. This is a discussion that has been postponed for eight years in order to keep BHO in tissue paper. As far as I can tell, the two Democratic presidential front-runners are either abstract in the extreme, or sickeningly cynical about African Americans and their votes. We need to acknowledge that something terribly, terribly wrong is going on here. And we need to identify that in detail and find ways by hook or by crook to address these wrongs.

  2. Agree with Jay. But to directly answer your question, naturally the focus during the horse race season is on the individual candidates, but this focus belies the fact that the New Jim Crow is systemic. The 1994 Crime Bill was part and parcel of a 60 year war on drugs that preceded it and was ramped up in the 80s when Reagan declared an all out War. I think the policies that would be enacted out of either a Sanders or Clinton administration would not be particularly different in this regard given the Congress either will have to deal with. The system will remain rotten and distorted for the most vulnerable based on race. Both legacy political parties will need to keep the working class divided and the pitchforks at bay for its own survival.

  3. I and my family, my hometown and the all of Cascadia have experienced first hand what a Clinton in the White House can do. The first thing Mr I Didn’t Inhale did after Ross Perot and Donald T Rump split the Retard vote and tossed him the keys was shut down the Pacific Northwest timber industry. Put an end to the comfortable middle-class way of life my family enjoyed here for five generations, for over a hundred years. Which cast I and my family, my community, my hometown and the whole damned state into a degree of abject poverty we have yet to recover from.

    Coming to a neighborhood near you soon.

  4. Bill’s attempt to bring Africa into the discussion speaks volumes about his focus. People who have to tell their kids to avoid contact with the police at all costs, who have seen their communities and schools crumble, who get pulled over repeatedly for no reason, whose jobs are being exported to low wage countries, who hold virtually no wealth, etc. etc. , are unlikely to be internationalists. But Bill is, as is clearly demonstrated by how he spends his time, energy, and considerable wealth.

    He has moved upstream financially, socially, and in his world view. He has left behind the people he grew up with and can no longer acknowledge their world view. He has become one of them, the .01%.

    Hillary’s struggle to emulate Bernie’s positions on trade, student debt, the environment, the big banks, and military adventurism shows that she also resides in the clouds. She’s just visiting earth for the campaign.

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