Hillary Clinton expressed regret about the comments she made against African-Americans twenty years ago after an activist confronted her during a fundraising event this week.
In a written statement to The Washington Post, Clinton attributed her life’s work to helping children who have been discouraged and oppressed by the system. She also said her choice to call African-Americans “super-predators” were words she shouldn’t have used.
The Washington Post reports:
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.”
“My life’s work has been about lifting up children and young people who’ve been let down by the system or by society, kids who never got the chance they deserved,” Clinton continued in the statement. “And unfortunately today, there are way too many of those kids, especially in African-American communities. We haven’t done right by them. We need to. We need to end the school to prison pipeline and replace it with a cradle-to-college pipeline.”
The encounter between the presidential hopeful and Black Lives Matter activist Ashley Williams happened Wednesday at a fundraising event in Charleston, S.C. While holding a sign that said, “We have to bring them to heel,” she asked Clinton to apologize for her comments connected to the mass incarceration of African-Americans.
Critics claimed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act introduced by Clinton’s husband in 1994 affected Latino and African-American offenders the most. The crime bill created longer mandatory sentences through the three-strikes rule, upgraded lesser crimes to felonies, and released a high amount of police officers onto the streets.
Clinton’s comment in full states:
“They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators,’” Clinton said. “No conscience, no empathy, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
Today, the long-term experimental bill has vetted troubling effects towards incarcerated African-Americans and Latinos. During her encounter with Williams, Clinton explained the two would have a conversation about her comments. Williams was escorted out shortly after the incident.
Speaking with The Washington Post, Williams explained her thought process:
“I thought that quote was important not only because it was her own words, but because that was her pathologizing black youth as these criminal, animal people,” Williams said. “And we know that’s not right and we know that’s really racist. All the candidates who are running for president need to be held to the same kind of scrutiny in terms of the way that they have been complicit in mass incarceration and damaging communities of color across the United States,” Williams said. “Bernie can get it, too. They can all get it.”
Bernie Sanders‘ campaign manager Jeff Weaver confirmed the Senator voted for the bill 20 years ago to support domestic violence provisions for women. The candidate has now spoken out against it. Weaver also claimed Clinton “resorted to dog whistle politics and dehumanizing language” to push the bill.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform