It’s happened again, this time when Secretary Clinton was on with Kara Swisher for the Recode Decode podcast over the weekend.
Swisher, during the Q&A, asked Clinton, “What do you think of Cory Booker … saying, ‘Kick them in the shins’?”
“That was Eric Holder,” Clinton replied, correcting Swisher.
“I know they all look alike,” she joked, to a burst of laughter from the audience.
I know it was mostly a joke from her, but she and her husband have said and done a lot of things in the past that this one seems to follow:
- In May 2008, Clinton told the USA Today that while Obama was leading the delegate race, she still had a broader political base. Unfortunately, she made that claim in explicitly racial terms, citing an Associated Press poll “that found how Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
- In her support for her husband’s 1994 crime bill she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.” (Yes, she said “to heel”!)
- “Colored People’s Time.” – Clinton appeared alongside New York City mayor Bill de Blasio at the annual Inner Circle Dinner, and joined in a racist joke based on a stereotype that black people are late for everything:
Clinton: I just have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough. [Laughter]
De Blasio: Sorry Hillary, I was running on C.P. time. [Audience gasps]
Host: I don’t like jokes like that.
- In the 1991 primaries, just weeks before the critical New Hampshire primary, Bill Clinton proved his toughness by flying back to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally impaired black man who had so little conception of what was about to happen to him that he asked for the dessert from his last meal to be saved for him for later.
- During the Clinton years unemployment rates sank to historically low levels for white Americans in the go-go 1990s, the jobless rate among black men in their 20s who didn’t have a college degree rose to its highest level ever. This increase in joblessness was propelled by the skyrocketing incarceration rate. When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent.
- The Clinton administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release, supported laws denying federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, and signed legislation imposing a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense.
Hopefully, the progressive wing of the Democratic base will rid itself of the old, racist, white people and move to fertile new grounds.