Russell Simmons was not impressed with Bill Clinton’s comments about the Black Lives Matter movement — and let the former president know it.
“The small drug users who were diseased and locked away deserve it? Bill Clinton u owe the black community and black lives matter an apology,” the Def Jam Recordings co-founder and Phat Farm founder tweeted Thursday night.
Simmons also linked out to a report on NPR detailing the former president’s heated exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters earlier in the day at a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Philadelphia, where he was forced to defend his 1994 crime bill and his wife’s past statements regarding race.
Clinton claimed the bill earned bipartisan support, diversified the police force, and lowered the country’s crime rate, thus benefitting African-Americans, according to NPR.
He then turned to a protester’s sign that read “black youth are not super predators,” telling the person, who had repeatedly interrupted him: “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 onto the street to murder other African-American children.
“Maybe you thought they were good citizens … You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns.”
“I talked to a lot of African-American groups,” Clinton continued. “They thought black lives matter. They said take this bill, because our kids are being shot in the street by gangs. We have 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals.”
Clinton also addressed claims by the protesters that the 1996 welfare reform bill increased poverty among African-Americans.
“They say the welfare reform bill increased poverty. Then why did we have the largest drop in African American poverty in history when I was president?” he asked.
As for his own wife and the upcoming presidential election: “This election is about the future. They’re trying to blame her for something she didn’t do,” he said.
Simmons has long been an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. In December 2014, he joined thousands of protesters in the “Millions March NYC” event to speak out against police brutality.
Just days before the Oscars last February, the business mogul’s emerging video programming brand All Def Digital hosted the first-ever All Def Movie Awards, with movies such as “Beasts of No Nation,” “Chi-Raq,” “Concussion,” “Creed,” “Dope” and “Straight Outta Compton” nominated for awards.
See Simmons’ tweet below.
The small drug users who were diseased and locked away deserve it? Bill Clinton u owe the black community and black lives matter an apology
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) April 8, 2016