A fake photo purported to be of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton—with Hillary in blackface—resurfaced on conservative social media in the wake of the Governor Ralph Northam controversy. But now the former first couple's daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is responding to the false claims.
The photo originally spread through links to Imgur, but was deleted after being reported as a site violation. The story went on to be repeated by fake news and conspiracy theory blogs, including InfoWars.
One right wing media site posted:
"Hillary wore the liberal-offending BlackFace that she’s now condemning soon-to-be-ex-Governor Ralph 'BlackFace' Northam for wearing. Oops. Busted."
Clinton gave her response on Twitter.
"A few thoughts:
- Blackface is never acceptable. It’s not complicated.
- ⬇️ looks nothing like my parents (the woman’s eyes aren’t even blue).
- Fellow white parents, we need to teach our kids about the racist history of minstrelsy & blackface."
Clinton included a link to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture's page for educational information on the history of blackface in the United States.
Observant people noted a few key things about the photo.
The woman in blackface has brown eyes versus Hillary Clinton's blue. Bill Clinton is 6'2" tall while his wife of 44 years is only 5'5" tall. The people in the picture have less of a height disparity. Plus the man bears only a passing resemblance to Bill Clinton.
People questioned the right's continued obsession with Hillary Clinton who is a private citizen not currently holding or seeking public office.
People also offered their support to the former first daughter.
Chelsea Clinton has seen numerous false allegation based attacks against her mother since childhood.
People thanked Clinton for the resources she provided on the history of blackface as well.
Many shared their admiration for the grace Clinton always exhibits when responding to such personal attacks on her family based on lies and conspiracy theories.
While one person suggested that in addition to calling out blackface, people should also call out other forms of racism with equal fervor.
Chelsea Clinton married Marc Mezvinsky in 2010 and they have two children. Clinton wrote two books, one for young adults and one for children: It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going! and She Persisted.