On a weekend in which violence broke out against protesters at yet another Trump rally in Chicago, Hillary Clinton, inexplicably, put out a statement in which she made yet another unforced error. It would have been quite sufficient to have put out a simple condemnation of Donald Trump’s behavior, encouraging his supporters to commit violent acts by promising to cover their legal fees, should they get into legal trouble.
But no, Hillary Clinton put out a statement, early on the morning of March 12th:
Violence has no place in our politics. We should use our words and deeds to bring Americans together. pic.twitter.com/FofjognpIA
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 12, 2016
How exactly does the murder of nine innocent Black churchgoers connect with violence at a Donald Trump rally in Chicago? Bringing up Charleston in the context of Chicago as if the two events are even remotely connected is bad enough. But what’s outrageous is that the statement confuses events, too. What melted hearts and brought down the confederate flag wasn’t that nine people were murdered, but that Bree Newsome climbed up a flag pole and took down the flag. What the nine victims’ families did – forgive a white supremacist – had nothing to do with it and, of all people, Clinton should have known that.
What in the world are we supposed to take away from Clinton’s statement? Surely not that Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans should forgive Trump his racism in the interest of peace and civility? Because if that was the intent, then former Secretary Clinton is most definitely unfit for office.
Where were Clinton’s handlers when this gem of a statement was being cobbled together? Where was Secretary Clinton’s judgment when she signed off on it?
Then, there is Sunday’s Town Hall on CNN. How in the world does Hillary Clinton look into the eyes of Ricky Jackson, the Black man whose life didn’t matter to a racist criminal justice system for thirty nine years, and tell him that she can’t consider doing away with the death penalty because of… terrorism? Watch:
— TV One (@tvonetv) March 14, 2016
Charles M. Blow most aptly tweeted:
Hillary, I HATE your answer on this question. If the death penalty is on the books, it will be used, including for ppl who r not terrorists
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) March 14, 2016
Blow is correct and if history is any indication, this has already been overdone for far less, with the war on drugs.
Leadership isn’t about one’s ability to be unfeeling. Leadership isn’t about one’s ability to be tough. Leadership is about one’s ability to be both tender and resolute. Hillary Clinton has demonstrated time and again that in those times where tenderness is needed, especially toward some people, having a heart just isn’t in her.
After so much heartache, we need compassion. After so much brutality, we need truth, reconciliation, and reparation. Black lives do matter. Too many have been sacrificed, along with almost every last shred of America’s humanity.
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One Year of Hillary Clinton Racial Gaffes