A string of unfortunate encounters have hurt Hillary Clinton's image with African-American voters in the past couple of weeks. Over the weekend, she joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on stage for a cringe worthy skit that included De Blasio joking about "colored people time." The media was quick to criticize the duo for their racially insensitive performance.
Clinton deferred the blame to her skit partner, but other recent incidents prove she can't keep avoiding eye contact when she is asked to explain her campaign's strange decisions.
Days before the event with De Blasio, Bill Clinton shouted past a Black Lives Matter activist at a stop in Philadelphia, defending the crime bill he signed as president. It was a risky move, considering his crime bill is not a popular one within the black community. Critics say the anti-crime legislation is the reason prisons got 60 percent more crowded during Clinton's presidency. A disproportionate number of those inmates were African-Americans, opponents note.
At one of the 2016 presidential debates, Hillary admitted parts of the bill were a "mistake." Her timing, however, suggests she is interested in repudiating the legislation in order to score more votes.
On Wednesday, MSNBC's Tamron Hall confronted Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), who voted for the controversial bill in 1994 but now regrets it, about that the testy exchange between Bill Clinton and Black Lives Matter. She also asked him to remark on how the Clintons are both praising and condemning the crime bill depending on where their campaign bus stops.
"You seem to hear the Clintons having it both ways," Hall said, "apologizing for the crime bill, but then pointing to the 'good' that may have come out of it."
"Is that enough for the black community, to hear an apology?" she asked.
There's a primary in New York coming up that may give us an answer.
Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is trying to ignite his relationship with the black community. During his speech in Manhattan, N.Y. Wednesday night, he insisted his campaign is ready and willing to respond to their needs.
“We are listening to our brothers and sisters in the African American community,” he said. “And they are asking ‘How can it be that we have trillions of dollars to spend on a war in Iraq, a war we should never have not gotten into, but we apparently don’t have the money to rebuild the crumbling inner cities of America?’”
Clinton, who already has a difficult time attracting Millennials to her campaign, can't afford to lose another demographic.