Clinton has decried systemic racism throughout this campaign, and tonight’s debate was no different. “I want white people to recognize that there is systemic racism,” she said. “It’s also in unemployment. It’s in housing, but it is in the criminal justice system as well.” It’s been one of the greatest strengths of her campaign, but tonight Bernie Sanders tried to turn that strength into a weakness.
Clinton tried to have it both ways on the crime bill that her husband signed in 1994, which has become a focal point of this campaign after her husband lectured Black Lives Matter protesters about its merits last week. She tried to take credit for the bill’s positive elements while arguing that she’s worked to correct its weaker aspects. But Sanders, asked about Clinton’s 1994 comments about “superpredators,” argued that the entire crime bill was about race baiting, not making the country safer.