US Uncut caught up with Black Lives Matter activist Ashley Williams for an exclusive interview in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after Williams disrupted a high-ticket fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, demanding she answer for her “super-predator” comments in 1996.
At the ritzy event, Williams and an accompanying filmmaker demanded Clinton be held accountable for comments made back in 1996 in reference to African-American youth, referring to them as “Super-predators,” adding, “We have to bring them to heel.”
The Youtube clip quickly went viral on twitter with the trending hashtag #WhichHillary.
Later, on the back porch of the Shem Creek Bar and Grill in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Ashley had this message for the people:
“She said that ‘We need to bring them to heel.'” recalled Williams. “And in this quote she is pathologizing and demonizing and also criminalizing black youth and other youth of color in terms of how they participate in criminal activity or how they are involved in criminal activity. I found these comments really racist and inappropriate. And also untrue.
“I feel there’s been a sense of idolization with Hillary Clinton… I wanted her to apologize to black people and other people of color who have been affected by mass incarceration in a very real, material way. And I also wanted her to take responsibility for the ways in which she was complicit in those things. I still haven’t gotten an apology.”
Far from apologizing, Clinton snapped at Williams, “You’re the first person to ask me that” before kicking them out of the event, which she payed $500 to attend.
“Ultimately the hashtag came out of thinking about #WhichHillary Clinton are we getting?” Ashley continued. “So are we getting this 1994 Hillary Clinton who pathologizes these black youth in this very criminal way? Are we getting the Hillary Clinton who made inappropriate comments about President Obama on the campaign trail, being a black person running for President?”
This is referring to an infamously dirty tactic by the Clinton campaign, in which they showed a picture of Obama in traditional Somali garb during an official trip, and implied Obama was a Muslim.
“Lastly,” Williams concluded. “Are we getting this new, kind of refined Hillary Clinton who allegedly is showing up for racial injustice in these ways that we can’t identify with, due to some of the things that she has supported in the past? Ultimately, I hope that people are paying close attention.”
Winnie Wong is an Occupy Wall Street activist and Co-Founder of People For Bernie. Video: Pauline Luppert
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW