Following renewed backlash against former President Bill Clinton’s controversial 1994 crime bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “super-predators” – said while the then-First Lady was supporting the legislation – was used in reference to young Black individuals.
“I think we all knew back then what that language meant,” Sanders said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “That was referring to young Blacks.”
The presidential hopeful, who is up against Clinton to grab delegates in the April 19 New York primary, continued, saying that “elective officials or leaders” shouldn’t use “that type of terminology.”
Sanders’ criticism comes after Clinton’s apology for using the term, prompted by a protest at a private fundraiser held in South Carolina in February. Strategically placing themselves at the front of the crowd, Black Lives Matter activist Ashley Williams, accompanied by a colleague, held a sign that displayed Clinton’s comments in an effort to “bring her to confront her own words.”
But it’s Clinton’s husband that owes the country an apology, Sanders says. Last week, during a campaign speech for his wife, the former president hit back at Black Lives Matter activists who took issue with the “super-predators” comment, saying, “you are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter.” Clinton, who later said he “almost” wants to apologize for sparring with the protesters, seemed to defend Hillary’s use of the term.
When asked by Stephanopoulos why he supported the bill then, a legislation that undoubtedly tore Black families apart, Sanders said it was a bill “that had good things in it and had bad things in it.”
“If I had voted against that bill, you would be asking me, ‘Bernie, why did you vote against the ban on assault weapons?’”
The bottom line, Sanders said, “is that we need major criminal justice reform in a very broken system. As Americans, we should not accept the fact that we have more people in jail. We need reforms of local police departments all over this country. And I intend, if elected president, to work very aggressively about that.”
You can find more information on the 1994 Crime Bill here.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty