Good magazine captured this exchange between five Black Lives Matter activists and Hillary Clinton during a closed-door meeting at a New Hampshire campaign event on August 11. One of the activists discusses the issues plaguing black Americans, specifically the rates of incarceration that occurred after President Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994. The former president has since distanced himself from his crime bill, which also provided funding to add 100,000 additional police officers on the street.
Hillary brought up the need for a process that will bring about change regarding Americans’ views on race. She cited how the black civil rights movement and the gay marriage movement had legal and political strategies that brought about the end of Jim Crow laws and the landmark Obergefell decision. The former first lady then told the activists that they’re going to need to come together as a movement, define a strategy, and engage in a discourse to move forward what they want to get done about their issues.
“You can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee stadium, and a million more like it, who are going to say ‘oh, we get it. We get it. We got to be nicer. Okay. That’s not enough at least in my book,” said Clinton.
Yet, things got a bit heated when the activists noted that the problem is grounded in white violence towards the black community.
“If you don’t tell black people what we need to do, then we won’t tell you all what you need to do,” said the activist. Hillary’s handlers can be heard trying to drag the former Secretary of State away from the discussion.
“This is, and has always been, a white problem of violence. There’s not much that we can do to stop the violence against us, “ he added.
Clinton responded by saying, “Respectfully, if that is your position then I will talk only to white people about how we are going to deal with the very real problems." YIKES.
This awkwardness the Democratic Party has experienced with this movement was showcased at the progressive Netroots Nation gathering in July. Activists virtually shut down the events where former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Bernie Sanders made appearances. O’Malley drew the ire of the crowd where he non-controversially said, “All lives matter.” Sanders seems to be the odd target of this group since he has one of the strongest records on civil rights in Congress. Nevertheless, a Seattle rally of his was shut down as well. Sanders left the stage–and he says he did not authorize the apology that was sent out in the aftermath. Nevertheless, Sanders is meeting with Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson sometime soon.
Yet, getting back to Clinton, this once again proves that there are flawed candidates, and then, there’s Hillary Clinton. At the same time, quelling any uneasiness from the Black Lives Matter wing of the progressive base seems–or should–be the last of Clinton’s worries–and no it isn’t a vast right wing conspiracy this time given that a Democratic president’s Justice Department is investigating you (via WaPo):
That Democrat and other supporters requested anonymity in order to discuss the shortcomings of a candidate whom they still overwhelmingly support and think can win the White House. Several supporters said that while no one is pulling the fire alarm, they see worrisome patterns emerging.
Among them: insularity, rigidity and a sense that the operation is tone-deaf to changes happening around it.
Her campaign has been slow off the mark in responding to the surprising surge in national support for Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, several Democrats said. That’s one reason Vice President Biden and his allies are pondering a challenge to Clinton.
Meanwhile, the confusing saga of Clinton’s private e-mail system took what many Democrats saw as a chilling turn last week, with more news about the FBI’s investigation into the potential mishandling of classified material on Clinton’s home computer server. Clinton is not the target of the investigation but, in the words of one Democrat, no one wants their candidate’s name in the same sentence as “FBI.”
“It’s not about e-mails or servers,” Clinton said. “It’s about politics.”
I won’t get down in the mud with them,” Clinton said. “I won’t pretend that this is anything other than what it is — the same old partisan games we’ve seen so many times before.”
I don’t think there’s a big smoking gun,” one Democrat said. “But it’s hard to explain why you had a private server, why you just now turned it over. . . . Shouldn’t you have had better judgment?”
Low favorables, an FBI investigation, over 300 emails flagged for further review, a Democratic base that’s not really enthused by her, and telling Black Lives Matter activists that she might just talk to white people only about racial issues in America. Couple this with the fact that Hillary isn’t as strong as she should be with the Obama coalition, and tell me (again) how this woman isn’t eminently beatable. And we haven’t even touched upon her record as Secretary of State.
Vice President Joe Biden might toss his hat into the ring. He’s putting out feelers because why shouldn’t he with a frontrunner this fragile. I think Joe running would yield a lot of popcorn moments, like the exchange captured above, but Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post noted that it may be too late for the Democratic campaign ship to change course.
(H/T Ed Morrissey)