Hillary Clinton talks down to young black voter in Minneapolis
Hillary Clinton was visibly perturbed during a tense exchange with a young Somali-American voter in Minneapolis on Tuesday when asked about past references to young black men as “super predators” while supporting a federal crime bill that resulted in disparate, harsher sentences for minority communities.
Clinton has been under fire for the comments since they were highlighted by Black Lives Matter protesters who crashed a private fundraiser to confront the candidate about them last week.
“Well first of all, that comment was made one time,” Clinton told the unidentified voter. “I’ve always been in favor of young people [getting more] opportunities.”
The young woman was unimpressed by Clinton’s answer and responded that the candidate’s record seemed to contradict her current statements. Clinton highlighted her support from “black people across the country” and the Somali community, but seemed to stumbled when pressed for a specific example of such before citing the endorsement of Minneapolis Councilman Abdi Warsame, the first Somali-American elected to a high public office.
When the young woman dismissed Warsame as inauthentic and not a true representative of the Somali community, Clinton’s tone shifted. “You know what, dear?” Clinton asked sternly, “You have a different opinion. He is a Somali elected to the City Council. I’m really proud of that. Why don’t you go run for something then?”
When the young woman said she worked for a Somali-American, Clinton laughed, responding “Well, good, good luck to you.”
Clinton’s unconvincing efforts to win over the skeptical young woman with supposed accolades from the Somali community were likely destined to fall on deaf ears. This past December, Clinton spoke approvingly of Justice Department outreach efforts in Minneapolis to counter “homegrown violence” that Somalis have widely denounced as smokescreens to “gather intelligence on the communities they’re meant to serve.”
Meanwhile, Warsame, whose endorsement Clinton cited, has not exactly received glowing reviews during his tenure. With the Somali population in Minneapolis facing high levels of discrimination, unemployment, and an overall lack of political representation, its understandable this young voter would want more than just lip service from Clinton.
In the end, Clinton couldn’t even give her that.