It looks like Hillary Clinton’s past is slowly approaching, disturbing her 2016 campaign. During the Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Circa in 1996, Clinton spoke to a Keenan university audience on January 25, promoting the seven principles of President Clintons campaign. In her speech, the fourth principle specifically targets black youth and the need for removal of gang-related activities.
“The fourth challenge is to take back our streets from crime gangs and drugs. We have actually been making progress….cause we have finally got more police on the streets. If we have more police on the streets…we can prevent crimes, we can prevent petty crimes from turning into something worse.”
“They are not just kids anymore. They are often the kind of kids that are called Superpredators; no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heel.”
During a Hilary Clinton fundraiser, activist, Ashley Williams, interrupted the speech pointing out the incongruities toward black youth in Clinton’s 1996 speech. The heroic protester was then escorted out after Hilary grew in frustration in search for an answer.
The fourth point in Clintons 1996 speech was targeted toward the growing the prison industrial complex and the continuance of dehumanizing black youth. The fact the Clinton believes that we have to bring these “Superpredators….to heel” before understanding the cause of their actions, contributes to the ignorance and the misunderstanding toward gang related activities or crimes. In her attempts to gain the black vote for this upcoming election, Clinton may hold some type of remorse or regret for her words. However, there has not been any statement released from Clintons camp in apology or explanation. That is where the problem lies.
The middle-class majority in America, are raised believing the poverty and police brutality crisis in this country is at the fault of its victims. In 1996 Clinton, without a doubt, revealed her belief in this ignorant ideology. Supporting the notion that arresting black youth for insignificant criminalities and keeping streets clear of “superpredators”, is going to truly make a difference. Throughout her 2016 campaign run, Clinton is showing black voters that she is turning over a new leaf and willing to directly address issues of racial economics, police brutality, and prison reform. Nevertheless, you can not move forward without addressing issues of the past. Hilary Clinton needs to acknowledge her past discrepancies and offenses toward the black community, not to gain the trust of black voters, but to publicly concede that she was wrong.
The work of the notable activist, Ashley Williams, at Clinton’s fundraiser was commendable and eye opening to the real genuineness of Clinton’s opinion on one of America’s most influential minorities. It all boils down to whether or not Bernie sanders will use this occurrence to rescue his own candidacy and expose the fallacy of Clintons campaign. Black voters cannot sweep this information under the rug, we have to push this issue to the forefront in both campaigns, and hold Hilary Clinton accountable for her actions.