Rolling Out

Bill Clinton defends mass incarceration and blasts Black Lives Matter

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Photo: Clinton Foundation

The playful notion that Bill Clinton was America’s “first Black President” is now so distant that the joke can be considered an insult. The effects of Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill and Welfare Reform Act of 1996 continues to harm many minority communities.

As Bill’s wife, Hillary, makes a run for the Presidency, many of his mistakes have come to the forefront. During a recent speech in support of his wife’s campaign in Philadelphia, Bill was interrupted by several protestors who yelled, “Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities.”

Clinton attempted to justify the Crime Bill by saying, “I talked to a bunch of African-American groups, they think Black Lives Matter. The groups said to take this bill because people are being shot in the street by gangs. We had 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals. I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped on crack and sent them out in the street to murder other African-American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens.”

Clinton’s response failed to address the real issue of the Crime Bill and mass incarceration. Crime is often a repercussion of subpar education, a lack of jobs, and a lack of mental health facilities. It has been proven that mass incarceration didn’t make areas of Chicago, Detroit, and South Central Los Angeles more safe. It only helped to increase the profits for private-owned prisons which received more funding as incarcerated Black men became their most important assets.

And Clinton disrespected the parents of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, and the multitude of other unarmed Blacks who were killed by Whites for simply being Black in America. The Black Lives Matter movement has never defended murderous acts by Black gangs who have terrorized Black communities. As a result, Clinton was completely wrong to suggest that protestors have not spoke out against crime committed by Blacks. But there is a difference between a reckless gangbanger and a reckless police officer.  Only one is funded by taxpayers. However, taxpayers should never have to fund murderers who, at times, have worn police uniforms. Police are paid by citizens to protect and serve, not to shoot and kill unarmed Black men.

Clinton continued to rant in his speech about how poverty in Black communities decreased under his Welfare Reform bill. However, funding for welfare programs decreased significantly under that bill and has made it more difficult for struggling families to get assistance.

It’s apparent that Bill has a problem with admitting the whole truth of the despair he caused for Blacks as President. Instead, he wants Black voters to forgive, forget, and to help start the next chapter of another Clinton administration.

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