Anti-Clinton pushback proves how far political correctness has pushed the left since 1992.
Matt Lewis writes, in his new book Too Dumb to Fail, that “neither of [the bases of both parties] want to hear hard truths and both … demand pandering. And so, a politician who stands up to his or her own base and attempts his or her ‘Sister Souljah moment’ … is more often than not punished for being courageous.”
Bill Clinton’s argument with #BlackLivesMatter protesters at a rally last week proves that point. Interrupted by protesters angry with Hillary Clinton’s public support of Bill’s crime bill—and in particular with Hillary’s 1996 reference to the then-popular phrase “super-predators” to describe young violent criminals—Bill responded that his anti-crime policies cut crime.
“I don’t know how you would describe the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped up on crack and sent them out in the streets to murder other African-American children,” he said. “Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn’t. You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”
Clinton’s comments point to a problem with the #BlackLivesMatter movement. As their emphasis has been focused on the lives of convicted criminals (“mass incarceration”) and suspects like Michael Brown, who, in many cases had resisted arrest or gotten into physical altercations, they have ignored larger problems. Michael Brown, in fact, having robbed a convenience store, was one of the very people who had contributed to a level of crime in his community that his innocent neighbors bear the burden of.
Needless to say, however, Democratic Party activists didn’t want to hear any of it. Hillary Clinton had to deal with negative headlines from liberal commentary outlets. Slate’s Michelle Goldberg called on Bill to step away from Hillary’s campaign. Bernie Sanders called on Hillary to apologize.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who seems to have taken his lame-duck status with joyful relief, spoke out, as forcefully as a nuanced Obama could, against recent politically correct controversies at universities.
“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them. But you shouldn’t silence them.”
It is likely