Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told The Washington Post Thursday that she wouldn’t have used the words she did to describe some children from crime-ridden communities in a speech she gave in 1996.
“Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today,” Clinton said in the statement to the Post.
A Black Lives Matter activist interrupted Clinton’s speech at a private fundraiser Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina and asked her to apologize for mass incarceration. The demonstrator held a sign that read, “We have to bring them to heel,” a reference to Clinton’s 1996 speech.
“They’re not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called super-predators,” she said at the time. “No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
Clinton further explained the context of that speech in her statement to the Post, clarifying that she was “talking about the impact violent crime and vicious drug cartels were having on communities across the country and the particular danger they posed to children and families.”