Bill Clinton’s Philadelphia jibe at raucous Black Lives Matter protesters is a direct echo of his ploy to challenge African-Americans during the Democratic primary campaign in 1992.
That year’s jab came shortly after a little-known rap singer, Sister Souljah, urged blacks to kill whites. At the time, crime rates were very high, even though they were declining from the rates seen in the early 1980s.
“I mean, if black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?” Souljah wondered that year.
White people, this government and that mayor were well aware of the fact that black people were dying every day in Los Angeles under gang violence. So if you’re a gang member and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person? Do you think that somebody thinks that white people are better, are above and beyond dying, when they would kill their own kind?
Clinton used a speech to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition movement to distance himself from the rapper’s radically unpopular message — and from Jackson himself — and to showcase a moderate pitch to the mainstream voters.
“If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech,” Clinton said at the time.
You can watch the Clinton speech here.
Clinton’s new hit against the Black Live Movement group may be popular among some African-Americans who are more worried about gangland crime than police tactics.
Clinton won the 1992 election against incumbent President George H.W. Bush by almost six points.