Still reeling from the revelation that his sentencing policies help ignite the explosion of the prison-industrial complex in the 1990s, former President Bill Clinton verbally tangled with angry protesters who believe it had a very adverse affect on black American families.
The husband of leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spent more than 10 minutes confronting the Black Lives Matter regime at a Philadelphia rally for his wife over criticisms that the crime bill he approved while president led to a surge in the imprisonment of black people.
The angry exchange comes as the Democratic race for the Nov. 8 election has become increasingly heated as Hillary Clinton, recoiling from a string of losses in state contests, has traded barbs with her rival for the party’s nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
In Philadelphia, several protesters heckled the former president mid-speech and held up signs, including one that read: “CLINTON Crime Bill Destroyed Our Communities,” according to Reuters.
Video footage of Hillary Clinton defending the reforms in 1994 has been widely circulated during the campaign by activists in the Black Lives Matter protest movement. In the footage, she calls young people in gangs “super-predators” who need to “be brought to heel.” Hillary Clinton, 68, who also has faced protesters upset by her remarks, said in February she regretted her language.
Bill Clinton, 69, who was president from 1993 to 2001, defended her 1994 remarks, which protesters say were racially insensitive, and suggested the protesters’ anger was misplaced.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children,” he said, shaking his finger at a heckler as Clinton supporters cheered, according to video of the event. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She (Hillary Clinton) didn’t.”
“You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter,” he told a protester. “Tell the truth.”
Hillary Clinton promised to end “mass incarceration” in the first major speech of her campaign last year. She has won the support of the majority of black voters in every state nominating contest so far, often by a landslide.