Asked about Clinton's reported 'bags' comment, Yvette Clarke says 'people are still in denial' about race
2:12 pm Sep. 4, 2012
Rep. Yvette Clarke hasn't always had the best relationship with the Clintons.
She was the last Democratic member of Congress from New York to endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary, attributing the delay to her unhappiness that Clinton aide Howard Wolfson had worked on a campaign against Clarke two years earlier.
Yesterday at the West Indian Labor Day parade in Brooklyn, I asked Clarke about a report in the New Yorker, which was picked up and amplified by the Post. The news, strongly denied by a Clinton spokesman, was that Bill Clinton was once said (by Tim Russert) to have told Ted Kennedy about Barack Obama, "A few years ago, this guy would have been carrying our bags."
"I think we're still a race-sensitive nation," Clarke said. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. And, you know, sometimes things that may seem innocent [are] so loaded in their terminology because, you know, to a large extent people are still in denial about how their words send signals to different groups and people who are inclined to pick up on them as racially inflammatory. We have to be careful and I think we have to become much more sensitive to this historic inability to, you know, really deal with it."