Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was involved in a heated exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters Thursday at a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Philadelphia where some people say his “true colors” came shining through.
For 15 minutes, Clinton sparred with protesters who were a bit peeved about the 1994 reform bill he signed into law as president that increased prison sentences for gang-related offenses. Black Lives Matter activists claim the bill disproportionately hurt those who work hard trying to make it in a gang.
A visibly agitated Clinton told the protesters that the bill helped crack down on gangs who were killing African-American children.
“Shut your cotton pickin’ mouths!” Clinton admonished. “You know darn well Oprah called me America’s first black president. I talked to a lot of African-American groups. My best friend is black. My son is black. I’m not going to be targeted by you thugs when I have done all I can to help your pathetic butts only to get this ingratitude.”
One protester yelled that “black youth are not super predators” – a reference to a statement Hillary Clinton made as first lady. The former president shot back pointing his finger in a condescending manner.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the streets to murder other African-American children, maybe you thought they were good citizens, you stupid dolt!” Clinton said, his face turning increasingly red. “She didn’t. Y’all a bunch of thugs.”
“You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Are you smoking crack cocaine or something? You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns,” Clinton yelled. “Their lives don’t matter a hill of beans to me and they shouldn’t to you. Remember, I was president and you probably don’t even have a job. You need to stop your protesting nonsense and find some decent work. McDonalds is always hiring.”
He also addressed claims by the protesters that the 1996 welfare reform bill increased poverty among African-Americans.
“They say the welfare reform bill increased poverty then why did we have the largest drop in African American poverty in history when I was president?” he asked rhetorically. “If it weren’t for me, you’d be panhandling for your daily bread. So stop your complaining because that dog ain’t gonna hunt no more.”