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On Crime Bill and the Clintons

Young Blacks Clash With Parents


NEW YORK—Rufus Farmer, 33, was tired of all the ways he saw Black men being mistreated by the nation’s law enforcement system--from the police officer who once berated him for crossing the street to the mandatory prison sentences that sent so many of his peers away.

So when former President Bill Clinton appeared on April 7 in Philadelphia at a rally for his wife, Hillary, Mr. Farmer protested, carrying a sign denouncing Mr. Clinton’s 1994 crime bill, which set lengthy prison sentences and flooded the streets with police officers.

A fiery exchange broke out between the activists and the former president as Mr. Clinton forcefully defended the legislation. But it was not just Mr. Clinton who criticized the young protesters. Afterward, some older African-Americans did too.

“I think it is crazy to protest the crime bill,” said Caryl Brock, 53, a social worker from the Bronx, who scolded the protesters on social media. “Should it be amended? Maybe. But a lot of people really wanted it. I really wanted it.”

Young and energized African-Americans this election cycle are

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