Why Twitter Is Talking About Hillary Clinton's Latest Awkward Outreach to Black People

September 29th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has strong polling numbers with potential black voters, but they have to show up to the polls in November for their support to matter.

That's why the Clinton campaign is making a push for black voter turnout in critical swing states like Florida, according to Politico.

However Clinton's partnership with two specific hip hop figures have some black people on Twitter confused: Rapper Pusha T and the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" Mary J. Blige are apparently #WithHer.

On Tuesday, the Clinton campaign announced it's holding a contest to encourage voter registration. People who register to vote on her website will be entered into a contest to meet Terrence "Pusha T" Thornton.

Some people on Twitter thought the pairing of the rapper and the former secretary of state was odd, and the jokes began.

Like several other successful rappers, Thornton's music has focused on his days as a hustler and a drug dealer. That association was not lost on Twitter.

Clinton's partnership with Thornton comes after an interview teaser with Mary J. Blige.

Apple Music released a teaser for Blige's new talk show after the first presidential debates on Monday. The show is called "The 411," seemingly a reference to Blige's successful 1992 album "What's the 411?"

The teaser features Blige singing a song to Clinton about police brutality. Yes, that's right. She sang to a presidential candidate on her talk show about a serious issue.

Twitter could not let this moment pass.

This isn't the first time Clinton has tried to reach out to minority voters this election cycle.

Clinton's campaign website features a blog post called "7 Things Hillary Clinton Has in Common With Your Abuela."

7 things Hillary Clinton has in common with your abuela

She also went on New York City's Power 105 Hip Hop morning show "The Breakfast Club" and made sure to mention that she carries hot sauce in her bag. Some people thought that was an attempt to reference Beyonce's "Formation." (Though Clinton's love of hot sauce is well documented.)

Clinton doesn't have a lock on every black vote. Some people on Twitter brought up her ties to mass incarceration in the United States. President Bill Clinton signed a 1994 crime bill that imposed tougher sentences and disproportionately affected minorities.

In April, President Bill Clinton got into a shouting match with Black Lives Matter protesters at a rally in Philadelphia.

The former president's policies of long mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and life terms for three felonies contributed to the largest increase of people sent to federal and state prisons, and those who were incarcerated were disproportionately minorities.

The same protesters at a rally in Philadelphia also brought up Hillary Clinton's infamous 1996 comments about locking up "super predators." She was campaigning for her husband's tough crime policies.

“They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” Clinton said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”

President Clinton apologized for those polices in July (and Hillary Clinton, for her part, has made criminal justice reform a key part of her platform since April of 2015).

"I signed a bill that made the problem worse and I want to admit it," Clinton told the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's in Philadelphia, according to CNN.

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