Bill Clinton: Black Lives Matter Protestors Are “Defending The People Who Kill The Lives You Say Matter.” | Gradient

Bill Clinton: Black Lives Matter Protestors Are “Defending the People Who Kill the Lives You Say Matter.”

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.38.23 PM

Bill Clinton was interrupted by a slew of Black Lives Matter protests while stumping for his wife in Philadelphia. Clinton responded with his usual suave gentility, which unfortunately this time was used to say some very unfortunate things. While defending he and his wife’s track record on mass incarceration—an issue that neither of them can quite shake from their legacy—Mr. Clinton got awfully animated.

“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 into the street to murder other African Americans,” Clinton said. “Maybe you would call them good citizens. She didn’t.”

An incredibly patronizing and simplistic statement as it is, but then Mr. Clinton felt the need to punctuate it with “You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter.”

None of this, of course, does anything to dismiss the critique of either Clinton as someone who have championed incarceration policies that have been, at best, astonishingly ignorant to the realities of African-American life and at worst, designed to decimate black communities. Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state inmates in American history, and Human Rights Watch reports that African Americans accounted for 80-90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely to use or sell drugs than whites. Of course, from 1980 on, every US President has been involved in increasing mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson said: “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.”

For Mr. Clinton to dismiss Black Lives Matter’s concerns with the old black-on-black crime trope is intellectual laziness that the movement has addressed many, many times. The only question is when the Clintons, and others like them, will start listening.

We leave you with one last choice quote from Bill Clinton’s extraordinarily ill-advised tirade: “I’ll tell you another story about a place where black lives matter: Africa.”

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Jason Russell”


Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “ Aharon Rabinowitz”


Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 040


United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?

New Pod Flow: Scribble & Jam, “Artist Matthew Perryman Jones”


Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.

If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.

To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

Subscribe on iTunes.

New Pod Flow: Sounds Good With Branden Harvey “Next Steps After the Presidential Election”


Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 039


Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.

This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.

New Pod Flow: Animalators, “Illo


Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy.  During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.

New Pod Flow: In Case You Missed It, Episode 038


This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.

Subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

New Pod Flow: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Podcast: Doctor Strange


We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.