You might have heard that mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun has criticized Bill Clinton for supporting her opponent, Rahm Emanuel, instead of her. “The African-American community if you remember when he was having Monica Lewinsky problems stuck by him,” Braun told reporters. “Then to go and not endorse any of the minority candidates, or just to stay out of it, that would have been the best … the minority community stayed with Bill Clinton when Monica Lewinsky almost took his job.”
Rep. Danny Davis also remembers a tight relationship. He describes Clinton as “a friend, political ally and as one whose goals and objectives may have been similar” to those of African-Americans. Davis was originally a mayoral candidate, but dropped out and is now endorsing Braun.
But even though Braun and Davis are talking like Clinton and minorities were best friends forever, that’s a hard case to make. As Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Perry (formerly Harris-Lacewell) noted in 2008 (around the time when Hillary Clinton was running for president and Braun was not endorsing her): “There is no evidence to suggest that African-Americans were in a better economic position than whites at any time in American history, including during Clinton’s presidency. In fact, striking gaps in income, employment, and wealth continue to distinguish black economic reality in the United States.” Yet in 2000, a national survey showed 30 percent of African-Americans believed they were doing better than whites, Harris-Perry and Bethany Albertson observed in a 2005 Journal of Black Studies article.