You knew it was coming after Bill Clinton erupted at Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday. Friday afternoon CNN published a response by Alicia Garza, one of the co-creators of the Black Lives Matter movement. Her comments read like a vote of no confidence in Bill but also in Hillary who she accuses of talking out of both sides of her mouth.
In case you somehow missed it, Bill Clinton was heckled yesterday by BLM protesters critical of his 90s era crime law. BLM has been particularly critical of a statement Hillary Clinton made promoting the crime bill in which she used the phrase “super-predators” and suggested it was necessary to “bring them to heel.”
Rather than agree with the protesters or simply ignore them, Bill Clinton lashed out saying, “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 on the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn’t. You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.”
That did not go over well with BLM co-creator Alicia Garza who faults Bill Clinton for calling one of the adult protesters a “girl” and says Hillary Clinton is talking out of both sides of her mouth:
The Clintons have simultaneously depended on black voters and thrown black voters under the bus for years now. Bill Clinton’s comments on Thursday were not the result of someone tired of being protested; his comments were the result of someone who has no shame in using black voters to get what they want.
Here’s the contradiction that black voters should pay close attention to: The 1994 crime bill and its resulting policies were supposedly designed to curb violent crime.
Yet the bill itself resulted in the bloating of prisons and jails with nonviolent offenders.
Here’s the other contradiction that black voters should pay close attention to: There is currently a candidate talking out of both sides of her mouth about black people, black protest, and the things that are necessary for black lives to matter in this country.
And here’s a really hard lump to swallow: Bill Clinton’s comments attempted to position Hillary Clinton as someone who has always worked for black lives to matter. Pinocchio’s nose has never grown so long.
The public spat with Black Lives Matter is potentially worrisome for Hillary Clinton. She racked up a huge delegate lead in southern states in part because of her overwhelming appeal to black voters. In South Carolina, for instance, she won 86% of the black vote. That support could weaken if the Clintons continue to argue the crime bill issue with BLM leaders.
A poll released earlier today showed Bernie Sanders closing to within 6 points of Hillary in the California primary (which is 2 months away). The same poll showed an 18 point advantage Hillary had enjoyed as recently as January among Latino voters had dwindled to 7 points. One of Clinton’s strongest pockets of remaining support was among black voters in the state who preferred her by 64-25 percent. About 6.5% of Californians are black so splitting that vote more evenly would help move Sanders within striking distance.
Bill Clinton has already stepped back from his outburst at BLM protesters saying Friday, “I almost want to apologize.” Perhaps after the Clintons read the piece by Alicia Garza at CNN the “almost” will be dropped from that statement.