Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reminding black Americans of how Hillary Clinton talked about young black criminals when she was not running for office.
Trump took to Instagram Friday to post a video that features Clinton’s famous 1996 comment, in discussing young black criminals, “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’”
The video then has a snippet from an April primary debate during which Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders called Clinton’s words “a racist term.”
Trump wrote “The Clintons are the real predators” as the caption for the video, which includes clips of Clinton supporting various features of the 1996 crime bill her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed into law. As Clinton defends the bill, labels such as “no conscience” and “no empathy” light up the screen.
Clinton has walked back the remark during her presidential campaign.
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today,” she has said.
However, some commentators have said Clinton’s remark is more than just an inconsequential word choice.
“Hillary’s comment holds more significance than simply referring to gang members,” wrote Ronda Lee in a blog pubished on the Huffington Post. “It was used to justify mass incarceration for many crack addicts and small dose marijuana users, not dealers. The focus was not rehabilitation of the addicts, but punitive punishment.”
Lee said that what Clinton said still matters, 20 years later.
“Your words have power for good and bad. Most injured people simply want an apology and not a backhanded one only when you have been forced to acknowledge the harm you caused,” she wrote. “Why does Hillary feel she should be exempt for being held accountable for her words? Maybe she needs to be brought to heel.”
Trump has argued that Clinton’s policies have negatively impacted black Americans. Trump, who Clinton accused of campaigning using a “steady stream of bigotry,” has replied that Clinton herself is the bigot.
“She is a bigot,” he said on CNN. “She is selling them down the tubes because she’s not doing anything for those communities. She talks a good game. But she doesn’t do anything.”
Asked by host Anderson Cooper about Clinton’s personal feeling for black Americans, Trump replied, “Her policies are bigoted because she knows they’re not going to work.”
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