“That was Eric Holder.”
Speaking to Recode’s Kara Swisher during an event over the weekend, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an apparently racial joke about her interviewer mixing up New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and former Attorney General Eric Holder, both black men.
“What do you think of Cory Booker saying, ‘Kick them in the shins’?” Swisher asked, to which Clinton replied, “That was Eric Holder.”
MOD: “Cory Booker… What do you think about him saying kick them in shins essentially?”
HILLARY: “That was Eric Holder.”
MOD: “Oh, Eric Holder, I’m sorry.”
HILLARY: “I know they all look alike.”
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 29, 2018
“I know they all look alike,” the former Democratic presidential nominee added.
Clinton’s comment drew accusations of racism from some conservatives. Even more attacked the media reaction (or relative lack thereof) to her remarks, arguing that a Republican would have been devastated politically had he or she made a similar comment.
Lol I didn’t say that at all. I like edgy jokes. I mean, I know no conservative would be given the benefit of the doubt for an edgy racial joke but stil
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) October 30, 2018
But there were those pundits on the right who, while not denying that a double standard may exist, came to Clinton’s defense.
In context, it’s pretty clear that Hillary was ribbing the questioner. It’s not “ha ha all black people look alike,” it’s “ohhhh, so you think they all look alike, hmmm???”
— Alex Griswold, but Halloween-themed I guess (@HashtagGriswold) October 29, 2018
Many on the right feel American culture has become fraught with the over-policing of public figures’ remarks and tweets — especially if they happen to be conservatives or Republicans — for any hint of language that runs counter to politically correct orthodoxy.
Meanwhile, those on the left often accuse conservatives, particularly in the age of Trump, of employing dog-whistles or blatantly racist language in the name of free speech.