Former President Bill Clinton got into a testy exchange Thursday with a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who disrupted a Philadelphia campaign event he was speaking at.
The protesters, upset about a 1996 comment Hillary Clinton made and later apologized for, shouted that "black youth are not super predators."
The former president pushed back, casting his wife as someone who has always been deeply concerned about black lives.
“I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out into the street to murder other African American children,” Clinton said.
He continued, "Maybe you thought they were good citizens—she didn’t. You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth.”
In the 15-minute exchange, Clinton contended that his 1994 crime bill helped black youths by curtailing gang violence.
"I talked to a lot of African-American groups," he said. "They thought black lives mattered. They said take this bill because our kids are being shot in the street by gangs. We had 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals."
At one point, Clinton seemingly grew frustrated when the protesters tried to talk over him.
“Here’s the thing. I like protesters, but the ones that won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth,” Clinton said.
He added, “You never learn anything while you’re talking.”
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