Truthout - July 31, 2020
Bill Clinton has a penchant for overstepping, for going too far and for being too cocky, especially when it comes to Black people. He assumes a kind of insider posture that is, quite frankly, offensive.
This posture was on full display yesterday when, while eulogizing the late civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis, Clinton took the liberty to render his opinion about who was a good Black leader vs. who was a not-so-good Black leader. In referring to the political differences between Lewis and Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael) — both former leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) — Clinton backhandedly disparaged Ture.
“There were two or three years there where the movement went a little bit too far towards Stokely,” Clinton presumptuously opined, “But in the end, John Lewis prevailed.”
Bill Clinton's patriarchal colonial mindset was on full display with that one statement.
Firstly, there was no acrimony between John Lewis and Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture'). It's completely a fictional narrative woven whole cloth in Bill Clinton's presumptuous mind.
The Grio reports:
"Media entrepreneur Benjamin Dixon offered proof that there was no hostility between Lewis and Carmichael. Lewis hailed him as speaking truth to power."
Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture') decided he would not subject The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to the fierce beatings they were receiving in the civil rights struggle in the south. Stokely began to advocate fighting back, self-defense. That was a clear tactical change from SNCC's origins. However, Carmichael's strategic adjustment for the organization resonated with blacks, students, and other coalition activists. Carmichael gave SNCC a gravitas and presence that was hugely beneficial to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.
60 years later Bill Clinton's deplorable editorializing at John Lewis's eulogy exposes his imperialist attitude toward black folk business.