There’s a nasty headline making the rounds in social media: “Young voter challenging Clinton on African-American issues is dismissed and ushered out by aides.”
Originating from Raw Story, the story is typical of contributor, Bethania Palma Markus, who scours media for titillating headlines and creates quick rewrites using secondhand sources. In this case, the title is meant to cast Hillary Clinton as an arrogant racist on par with Donald Trump, who is in fact, a racist.
The brief article covers a two-minute exchange between Clinton and a young woman that occurred while the candidate visited the Midtown Global market in downtown Minneapolis on March 1.
Clinton, coffee cup in hand, stands face-to-face to a young woman of color, who’s wearing a backpack and appears to be a college student. Most of the audio comes from Clinton. The young woman’s words are barely audible.
However, had Palma Markus read a primary news source before throwing together her story, she might have presented a less provocative interpretation.
According to the Minnesota Star Tribune account, the woman “confronted” Clinton and repeatedly questioned her record of working with the “Somali community.” She referenced Clinton’s use of the term “super predators,” in comments made twenty years ago.
At the time, the term was typically applied to young black men living in urban areas. Clinton made the remark while promoting her husband’s 1994 crime bill — now repudiated by many, including the Clintons — during his re-election race. –Minnesota Star Tribune
Clinton can be heard praising a local official, Abdi Warsame, the first Somali American to serve on the Minneapolis City Council. In response, the young woman casts doubt on the authenticity of Warsame. It is at this point that Clinton suggests the young woman run for public office. There are a few unintelligible words from the student as she turns and leaves, voluntarily and without the ushering reported in Raw Story. (See video below)
This encounter was stripped of context by Palma Markus and deliberately coined to excite the Hillary-haters and divide people of color and their affinity to Clinton. What is also glaringly absent is the subject of refugees in Minnesota.
The North Star State is home to about 40 percent of Somalis in the U.S., who have refugee status dating back to the 1990s, according to a local report filed by Jacob DeRusha of WCCO-TV. The U.S. has admitted about 84,000 refugees from Somalia, says DeRusha. At least 30,000 reside in the Twin Cities area.
Here’s the YouTube video which captures the actual even as it aired on NBC News:
Above and beyond the smear tactic, what’s disturbing is the lack of reportage on the substantial issue of refugee resettlement and their integration into American society. Apparently, the “news” conglomerates consider such straight reportage less profitable than slinging mud at a Presidential candidate.