*Russell Simmons was highly offended by the arguments made by Bill Clinton during his standoff against Black Lives Matter activists who interrupted him in Philly on Thursday.
As previously reported, the president was speaking at a campaign event for his wife Hillary Clinton when BLM forced him to defend his 1994 crime bill and his wife’s past statements regarding race.
Clinton argued that the bill had bipartisan support, diversified the police force, and lowered the country’s crime rate, thus benefitting African-Americans. Addressing a protester’s sign that read “black youth are not super predators,” he said: “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.”
Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and Phat Farm, not only disagreed with Clinton’s retorts, but called for an apology. He tweeted Thursday night: “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 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
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.
Watch the entire exchange between Bill Clinton and Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia below: