I never thought I’d type these words, but here goes: Yesterday, Bill Clinton spoke the truth passionately, convincingly, and with great clarity. And if Americans have ears to hear, he’ll go a long way towards ending one of the more fraudulent protest movements in recent American history.
While Clinton was speaking at a rally in Philadelphia, Black Lives Matter protesters attempted to interrupt him, making all the standard arguments (if you can call loudly shouted lies “arguments”). The core of their case against the Clintons — why they say Bill “destroyed black communities” — is that the 1994 crime bill he signed “fueled mass incarceration.”
The bill was one part — an important part — of a massive national effort to respond to soaring crime rates, and in the years since its passage, violent crime has plunged to rates not seen in decades. No one gives all — or even most — of the credit to the 1994 bill (and elements of it, such as the assault-weapons ban, were ineffective), but it was entirely consistent with a strategic approach that combined more cops and harsher sentences with new technological tools (such as New York City’s CompStat) that helped place police exactly where they were needed most. Countless thousands of black lives have been saved.