Boyles accused Hillary Clinton of speaking in "a blackface voice" to an African-American audience

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

630 KHOW-AM host Peter Boyles accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) of using a "blackface voice" while speaking before an African-American audience to mark the Selma, Alabama, civil rights march. Boyles' comments echoed the attacks conservatives have launched against Clinton regarding the speech.

On the March 6 broadcast of his 630 KHOW-AM show, Peter Boyles accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) of speaking in "a blackface voice" during a March 4 speech commemorating the Selma, Alabama, civil rights march. Boyles played audio clips of Clinton addressing an African-American audience at First Baptist Church, then stated, "She's doing blackface. And I'm thinking, 'Is she going to get called on this?' It was, like, bizarre."

Prior to making his "blackface" comments, Boyles played a spliced audio excerpt from Clinton's speech in which she said, "That pulse that you found so faint, you have brought back to life. And the chair of all the mayors in the country, Mayor Palmer, from Trenton, New Jersey." Boyles then commented:

BOYLES: Is that bizarre? It's Hillary Clinton. ... I watched that yesterday afternoon on cable, and now they're playing it. It's -- Hillary Clinton is campaigning, obviously, for president. Goes to this black church, starts talking like that. That was -- that used to be called "blackface." ... And that's like a blackface voice. I don't know what the hell she's doing.

Later in the show, Boyles played another excerpt from the same speech in which Clinton quoted Rev. James Cleveland's hymn "I don't feel no ways tired":

CLINTON: I don't feel no ways tired. I come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy --

After playing Clinton's reading of the hymn, Boyles asked:

BOYLES: How bizarre was that cut? That's Hillary Clinton. ... Um, that was Hillary Clinton. She's at this campaign thing, and she's talking to African-Americans. She puts that act on. And I was mentioning that -- how insane that is. ... And she's appearing, and she does this whole -- and it's called -- I mean, the voice is called blackface.

Boyles, however, failed to mention that Clinton was quoting a hymn.

Boyles' racially charged statements echoed conservative attacks on Clinton regarding the speech. The audio clips Boyles played on his show also were available on www.ifilm.com, apparently uploaded to the site by Andrew Breitbart, a former colleague of Internet gossip Matt Drudge. As Media Matters for America noted, Drudge's right-wing gossip website, The Drudge Report, also posted a link to the clips of Clinton's speech with the headline "KENTUCKY FRIED HILLARY: NY SENATOR ADOPTS SOUTHERN DRAWL IN CHURCH SERVICE." Media Matters also pointed out that Fox News Live host E.D. Hill accused Clinton of affecting a "Southern drawl" during her speech and mocked Clinton's reading of Rev. Cleveland's hymn.

From the March 6 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:

CLINTON [audio clip]: That pulse that you found so faint, you have brought back to life. And the chair of all the mayors in the country, Mayor Palmer, from Trenton, New Jersey.

[...]

BOYLES: Is that bizarre? It's Hillary Clinton. It's eight minutes after six, 6:08. 630 KHOW. We are Denver's talk station. I'm Peter Boyles. Good morning, and welcome to the show. We jammed up the lines on the first hour talking about the proposal for a new state song. But I watched that yesterday afternoon on cable, and now they're playing it. It's -- Hillary Clinton is campaigning, obviously, for president. Goes to this black church, starts talking like that. That was -- that used to be called "blackface." And we're -- I was talking about that really wonderful book -- actually, I passed it on to, uh -- [unintelligible] Zip Coons [sic] and the history of the -- of the minstrel movement in this country. And -- and it was just a very, very well put together book. I read it about a year or year and a half ago. But that's what that was called when people would do that. Jolson did it, obviously. Al Jolson, who makes his bones in the first "talkies" and everything. They would come out and be in what they called blackface. Minstrel shows. Blackface. And that's like a blackface voice. I don't know what the hell she's doing.

[...]

CLINTON [audio clip]: I don't feel no ways tired. I come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy --

[...]

BOYLES: How bizarre was that cut? That's Hillary Clinton. Quick email: There's a little article in the Rocky Mountain News this morning about Hillary wooing gay voters. Is she going to turn gay now? Oh, that's right. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Funny email. Thank you, email funny person. Um, that was Hillary Clinton. She's at this campaign thing, and she's talking to African-Americans. She puts that act on. And I was mentioning that -- how insane that is.

[...]

BOYLES: Mrs. Clinton. And she's appearing, and she does this whole -- and it's called -- I mean, the voice is called blackface. We were talking about it earlier in the show. There was a book, I dunno, a year and a half ago -- I gave it to one of the guys at Channel 12 -- about the minstrel shows. And, and it's like -- remember, remember Black Like Me? It was called White Like Me. No, it was called -- Black Like -- Black Like You, I think. But it was -- and it was very well put together. It was a history of the same guy that wrote King of the Cats about Adam Clayton Powell [Jr.] wrote this book -- young African-American historian, brilliant young kid. And it's about that whole minstrel show thing follow -- leading up to the American Civil War and, of course, in the time period after the American Civil War. And that, you know, Al Jolson, who, you know, "Jolson Talks," you know, led to believe now the great singular vaudeville entertainer who jumps across into the talkies and the rest of that stuff. The routine was called blackface. And, as you know, when Amos 'N Andy, this radio show that was -- it was white guys played black guys, and it was called blackface. The whole thing's called blackface. She's doing blackface. And I'm thinking, "Is she going to get called on this?" It was, like, bizarre. I'm watching and I'm going, "Jeez, what's she thinking?"

[...]

BOYLES: Hillary Rodham Clinton, and everybody's playing this drop. I'm not sure what it's about, but what we're being told is she was, as she is, campaigning for the job that her husband once had, the presidency of the United States, and plays this -- does this bizarre sort of blackface thing.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.