No group of voters has been more loyal to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary than black voters.
Yet she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, spent an entire day courting black voters in half a dozen New York churches and at a campaign event in Baltimore.
Why? The effort comes after a week in which the long relationship between African American voters and the Clintons needed some reinforcement.
“This is a historic day,” Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) said as he introduced Bill Clinton at Antioch Baptist Church in Harlem on Sunday morning. “What makes it so important is that we have a chance to thank the Clinton family.”
It was a reminder that perhaps seemed necessary after last week, when a group of Black Lives Matter protesters once again raised an old and thorny issue that has dogged the Clintons in this campaign: their support for a 1994 crime bill. The protesters took issue with then-first lady Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “super predators,” which critics now see as coded racial language targeted primarily at black urban youth who had been caught up in drugs and violence.
Fast-forward about 20 years, and Hillary Clinton has expressed regret for using the term, but Bill Clinton last week defended the crime bill and objected to protesters criticizing his wife for using a term that at the time targeted drug dealers and killers.
The episode launched a thousand reprises of the debate over whether the Clintons were truly contrite about the unintended consequences of the crime bill, which some blame for codifying a culture of mass incarceration that has decimated African American families.
So the former president made his pilgrimage to three black churches, pillars of the black community in Harlem, on Sunday morning.
Rangel reminded the congregation that Hillary Clinton pressed her husband during his presidency to include Harlem as an economic empowerment zone so it could receive economic development funding. And that Bill Clinton, after finishing his presidency, chose the neighborhood to house his presidential foundation’s office.
Source: The Washington Post | Abby Phillip