Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke accused Democratic Party presidential candidates of playing “plantation politics” on Wednesday by expressing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“They’re whoring for votes,” Clarke told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “They know that’s what they’re doing. The liberal ideology has been very destructive for the black community for the last 50 or 60 years. Poverty is now generational, it’s a lifestyle.”
As The Guardian reported, the candidates were asked, “Do ‘black lives matter or do ‘all lives matter’?” during Tuesday’s debate, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Martin O’Malley specifically saying the former phrase, just under four months after both candidates were interrupted by protesters with the movement during the Netroots Nation conference.
Hannity told Clarke and fellow guests Larry Elder and Juan Williams he did not “get” the discrepancy, ignoring that demonstrators have pointed out on several occasions that the phrase “all lives matter” has been used as a way for critics to avoid accounting for excessive police violence within communities of color. Hannity accused the Democrats of “sucking up” to the movement.
Williams said that while he considered the candidates’ statements to be a form of pandering, “There is a real issue of excessive use of police force in the country. Black Lives Matter has come as a response to that issue, and so what you get is Democratic politicians –”
“No there isn’t,” Clarke countered, cutting in.
“He says there isn’t,” Williams said. “There’s no argument that clearly there’s an issue if you have Michael Brown, if you have Eric Garner, if you can go on.”
He then told Clarke and Elders that they have to “get more politically sophisticated” because Democrats are playing to supporters of the movement. Clarke responded by saying that Williams had “gone back over to the other side.”
Watch the discussion, as posted by Media Matters on Wednesday, below.