“I am ashamed of my vote. I sincerely apologize to my God; I apologize to my family, to my community," he said.
In an emotional interview on MSNBC, Wednesday, April 13, Congressman Bobby Rush, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton, apologizes to his community for his vote in favor of the 1994 crime bill.
“I am ashamed of my vote. I sincerely apologize to my God; I apologize to my family, to my community. That was my worst vote, as I look back over the years, that I have taken since I’ve been in Congress,” said Rush.
Rush has served in Congress for over 20 years and trusted the bill would better the communities it is accused of devastating.
“Crack cocaine and the crime bill were the two worst issues, problems, catastrophes that the black community has suffered from in the last 15 years,” said Rush, explaining that his vote came from “a lot of hope” and the belief that the bill would combat “devastating crime.”
However, as he admits, the crime bill as it was implemented, focused heavily on “locking them up” and proved no resources for actual rehabilitation through beneficial programs.
MSNBC host Tamron Hall pushed back at his apology asking whether an apology was enough given that Rush is endorsing Hillary Clinton for President.
Rush responded, “I fully expect Hillary Clinton to reverse the horrendous outcomes [of the bill].”
He noted that since the passage of the crime bill, he has remained consistent on advocating for better schools and housing and has helped increase economic development in black communities.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.