Statement by Ben Jealous on President Clinton’s Remarks on Black Lives Matter
Ben Jealous

So let me see if I understand this:

Every problem the African American community has today is 100% the fault of Bill Clinton and his horrible terrible awful policies that rendered the African American community powerless to control every decision, every choice, every aspect of their lives. It’s all the fault of the horrendous experience of being forced to survive in America under the wicked tbumb of the fearful white man William Jefferson Clinton and his terrible policies from 1992 until 2000, specifically the Crime Bill, which Bernie Sanders voted for, by the way.

So maybe that’s Bernie’s “Iraq” vote, I don’t know, but he had a choice. And he made the wrong one. Hmm.

And there are other votes he approved that may have had a tiny bit to do with what you see as the horrific experience of being African American during Bill Clinton’s Presidency until today.

He voted NO 5 times on Brady, just to name one instance. In addition, Bernie feels that weapon manufacturers, unlike vacuum cleaners, cars, electric knives, etc manufacturers, should never be held responsible for the use of their products.

And about those weapons , call me crazy but I think losing more people in a week in any urban area than we lost in a week in Iraq and Afghanistan is really bad. I think having little kids murdered in school is not ok. I think that Gabby Giffords didn’t need to find out how powerful her survival instinct is. I really hate the way Bernie voted on Brady. But I don’t hold Jane responsible for it.

I’m not sure how Bill Clinton caused that, but I’m sure you are.

But I’m white and Jewish so what do I know, right? Except I, like Hillary, belonged to my Synagogue Youth Group that marched for Civil rights. I was also 14 when I carried my first sign in a picket line in Pontiac Michigan. And I didn’t stop there. I’m still on that Journey. I even did my Student Teaching at Milan Federal Prison. I did some other stuff too, but this is getting long so you’ll have to trust me on that.

Hey Ben. You don’t have to justify your support for Bernie Sanders. This is America. You can think, feel, do, believe what you want. It’s all good. You don’t have to make up stuff to explain why you support Bernie Sanders. I’m 68 years old but still have my memory. I don’t quite remember things the way you do, but that’s fine. My experience was not yours. But your experience was not that of a kid living in a Gang controlled neighborhood who dropped out of middle school either.

I seem to recall a bit of good in those years mixed in with all that bad. I also recall a guy called Bush or W? in the 8 years between Clinton and Obama? Do you hold him responsible for anything? Because it sounds like you don’t.

I do have another question for you. Lets say that 100% of every thing you cite is true.

What does that have to do with Hillary? Do you hold Michelle Obama responsible for what her husband does? They seem pretty close so lets assume they talk about things, she gives her opinion, but at the end of the day, he gets the credit and /or blane for it. If Michelle decides to run for office in 5 or 10 years, will you hold her to the same standard? Will she be blamed for everything you see as a mistake her husband made in Office?

I remember being taught by my parents that hasty or sweeping generalizations are wrong “most” of the time. That each of us is responsible to ourselves, others and G-d for our behavior.

That doesn’t excuse outside influences that create tragic circumstances. But it does challenge us to pull ourselves up and over the piles of

bad stuff life thows in our path. Society has a huge role to play, leaders have responsibility for their decisions, but so do we.

So I’m sorry but I don’t think your premise holds,water. I think you think you have to justify your support for Bernie. So you’re dumping all kinds of stuff on Hillary and President Clinton that’s not actually fully correct to begin with.

You can stop that. In fact, you should stop that. It’s beneath you. I don’t like seeing a man I have held in such high esteem sound like a finger pointer. Yes, that Crime Bill had a lot of bad stuff in it, a lot of lives were ruined, and if hindsight was foresight we would all be perfect. But it had some good things in it and a lot of lives we saved because of it.

Yes, we need to dump that stupid 3 strikes thing and mandatory life sentences that are still in effect today. Why that’s still around beats me. But you know what? Bernie’s in the Senate! You know what he could have done but didn’t? Write a Bill to AMMEND the bad parts of that Bill. Maybe it would’ve been shot down, but at least he could have tried. He really could have tried. That’s on him. Not on Hillary or Bill. Just Bernie.

Unfortunately we all make decisions other people call mistakes. And maybe they are really bad mistakes. But WE make them. You managed to get through the Clinton Administration reletively unscathed.

So please drop this attack. It makes you look silly and petty. It makes Bernie look desperate.

Why not help Bernie develop a clear policy on Crime, pull some specifics together and talk about that. I promise it will make both of you look better. It will give you something to talk about besides how horrible Bill and Hillary Clinton are.


Suzie Perlstein

Atlanta Ga