Must Read – “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote”

Why the black community supports Hillary Clinton is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps someone can rectify my ignorance in the comment section, but it appears irrational to support a person so single-mindedly focused on her own wealth and power, as opposed to someone genuinely interested in helping poor and struggling communities.

Perhaps it’s merely a name recognition thing, or the fact that her husband was so popular with the black community. I don’t know, but what I do know is Hillary Clinton is running for President because she wants the Presidency. In contrast, Bernie Sanders is running because he sees America in deep trouble. There’s a huge difference.

– From the post: Former Head of the NAACP to Endorse Bernie Sanders

Earlier today, we learned that Ta-Nehisi Coates will be voting for Bernie Sanders. A few hours later, a hugely important piece written by Michelle Alexander at the Nation began making the rounds titled: Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote. Taken together, these two revelations could represent a major turning point with regard to Bernie Sanders’ success within the black community. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her lead among blacks cut in half over the next few weeks. It’s about to get real.

Here are a few excerpts from the fantastic Nation article which outlines how disastrous the Clinton administration was when it came to the black community.

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. Clinton did not declare the War on Crime or the War on Drugs—those wars were declared before Reagan was elected and long before crack hit the streets—but he escalated it beyond what many conservatives had imagined possible. He supported the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which produced staggering racial injustice in sentencing and boosted funding for drug-law enforcement.

Clinton championed the idea of a federal “three strikes” law in his 1994 State of the Union address and, months later, signed a $30 billion crime bill that created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces. The legislation was hailed by mainstream-media outlets as a victory for the Democrats, who “were able to wrest the crime issue from the Republicans and make it their own.”

When Clinton left office in 2001, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.”

Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary wasn’t picking out china while she was first lady. She bravely broke the mold and redefined that job in ways no woman ever had before. She not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”

An oft-repeated myth about the Clinton administration is that although it was overly tough on crime back in the 1990s, at least its policies were good for the economy and for black unemployment rates. The truth is more troubling. As unemployment rates sank to historically low levels for white Americans in the 1990s, the jobless rate among black men in their 20s who didn’t have a college degree rose to its highest level ever. This increase in joblessness was propelled by the skyrocketing incarceration rate.

Why is this not common knowledge? Because government statistics like poverty and unemployment rates do not include incarcerated people. As Harvard sociologist Bruce Western explains: “Much of the optimism about declines in racial inequality and the power of the US model of economic growth is misplaced once we account for the invisible poor, behind the walls of America’s prisons and jails.” When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent. This figure was never reported. Instead, the media claimed that unemployment rates for African Americans had fallen to record lows, neglecting to mention that this miracle was possible only because incarceration rates were now at record highs. Young black men weren’t looking for work at high rates during the Clinton era because they were now behind bars—out of sight, out of mind, and no longer counted in poverty and unemployment statistics.

This is an incredible statistic and one I had never heard before.

Despite claims that radical changes in crime and welfare policy were driven by a desire to end big government and save taxpayer dollars, the reality is that the Clinton administration didn’t reduce the amount of money devoted to the management of the urban poor; it changed what the funds would be used for. Billions of dollars were slashed from public-housing and child-welfare budgets and transferred to the mass-incarceration machine. By 1996, the penal budget was twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps. During Clinton’s tenure, funding for public housing was slashed by $17 billion (a reduction of 61 percent), while funding for corrections was boosted by $19 billion (an increase of 171 percent), according to sociologist Loïc Wacquant “effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the urban poor.”

Bill Clinton championed discriminatory laws against formerly incarcerated people that have kept millions of Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and desperation. The Clinton administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release, supported laws denying federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, and signed legislation imposing a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense—an exceptionally harsh provision given the racially biased drug war that was raging in inner cities.

Perhaps most alarming, Clinton also made it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history (even an arrest without conviction) and championed the “one strike and you’re out” initiative, which meant that families could be evicted from public housing because one member (or a guest) had committed even a minor offense. People released from prison with no money, no job, and nowhere to go could no longer return home to their loved ones living in federally assisted housing without placing the entire family at risk of eviction. Purging “the criminal element” from public housing played well on the evening news, but no provisions were made for people and families as they were forced out on the street. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, more than half of working-age African-American men in many large urban areas were saddled with criminal records and subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and basic public benefits—relegated to a permanent second-class status eerily reminiscent of Jim Crow.

To be fair, the Clintons now feel bad about how their politics and policies have worked out for black people. Bill says that he “overshot the mark” with his crime policies; and Hillary has put forth a plan to ban racial profiling, eliminate the sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine, and abolish private prisons, among other measures.

Abolish private prisons? Come on Michelle, you don’t buy this do you? After all, see: How Progressive – Private Prison Company Lobbyists are Raising Funds for Hillary.

Hillary believes that she can win this game in 2016 because this time she’s got us, the black vote, in her back pocket—her lucky card.

She may be surprised to discover that the younger generation no longer wants to play her game. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll all continue to play along and pretend that we don’t know how it will turn out in the end. Hopefully, one day, we’ll muster the courage to join together in a revolutionary movement with people of all colors who believe that basic human rights and economic, racial, and gender justice are not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky goals. After decades of getting played, the sleeping giant just might wake up, stretch its limbs, and tell both parties: Game over. Move aside. It’s time to reshuffle this deck.

So is the black community tired of getting played? We’ll find out soon enough.

For related articles, see:

Former Head of the NAACP to Endorse Bernie Sanders

How Progressive – Private Prison Company Lobbyists are Raising Funds for Hillary

Desperate for Hillary – Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem Claims Young Women Support Sanders to Attract Boys

New Poll Shows Sanders Tied with Clinton Nationwide – Hillary’s 30 Point Lead Evaporates in 6 Weeks

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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29 thoughts on “Must Read – “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote””

  1. I’ll bet Hillary believes it’s her down-home southern Black dialect/accent that she puts on when she’s down south that keeps her so popular…

  2. Michael, thanks for the information. Be careful, and here I quote you, “we’ll muster the courage to join together in a revolutionary movement with people of all colors who believe that basic human rights and economic, racial, and gender justice are not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky goals” this sounds like you have taken a stance, a position, a target.

  3. not one black, africa-american should ever vote for any democrat — examine what evil the democrat party has done to blacks – the democrat party initiated the KKK to attack and kill blacks, to burn the homes / churches of blacks, initiated jim crow laws to prevent blacks from voting / owning a firearm; initiated the war on poverty where 89% of black children are born to single mothers so that the government replaces the father, keeps blacks in getto’s, substandard schools, on welfare — but do blacks prefer taxpayer funded free stuff or FREEDOM

    • I’ve got no love for either corrupt political party in these United States, but here are the facts on some of what you wrote.

      So we asked several historians about the origins of the KKK.

      Details about the hate group’s founding are murky — including the exact year it began. Some cite 1865 as its start, others say it was 1867. Historians generally agree it was founded by a handful of Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tenn. as a social fraternity and it quickly changed into a violent group that terrorized newly empowered black and white Republicans in the South.

      J. Michael Martinez, the author of a 2007 book “Carpetbaggers, Calvary and the KKK,” told us many angry Southern whites during the 1860s and 1870s were Democrats and a smaller number of them joined the KKK.

      So there is some historic link between Democrats and the KKK. But Martinez said it is misleading to say that the hate group was started by the Democratic Party because it was more of a grassroots creation.

      There’s another point to consider.

      “To say that the Ku Klux Klan was started by the Democratic Party — it’s not the Democratic party of today,” Martinez said. “(From the) 1930s until today, you think of the Democratic Party being considered the party of the disenfranchised.”

      Other historians had similar takes.

      Carole Emberton, an associate professor of history at the University at Buffalo, wrote in an email that various “Klans” that sprung up around the South acted as a “strong arm” for many local Democratic politicians during Reconstruction. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest — believed to be the KKK’s first Grand Dragon — even spoke at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, said Emberton, author of “Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence and the American South after the Civil War.”

      But Emberton added a major caveat:

      “The party lines of the 1860s/1870s are not the party lines of today,” she wrote to us. “Although the names stayed the same, the platforms of the two parties reversed each other in the mid-20th century, due in large part to white ‘Dixiecrats’ flight out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By then, the Democratic Party had become the party of ‘reform,’ supporting a variety of ‘liberal’ causes, including civil rights, women’s rights, etc. whereas this had been the banner of the Republican Party in the nineteenth century.”

      Elaine Frantz Parsons, an associate professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh said that most post-Civil War southern whites were Democrats who were unhappy with Republican policies on Reconstruction while large numbers of newly-freed slaves were Republicans.

      “So it is not surprising that the Reconstruction era Klan would have been very largely Democrats attacking Republicans,” Parsons said in an e-mail. “But this simply does not map well at all onto the party structure we know today. Among other things, the Republicans (during Reconstruction) were condemned as the party of big government and as wanting to centralize authority on the federal level.”


    • I’ve been preaching that same philosophy for years the democrats stay in power because the black vote keeps them there, the Republicans aren’t much better but they have had the backs of minorities a lot better than the dems, more comprehensive laws have been passed because of Republicans even when the odds were stacked in the Dems favor

    • In 1964 the Democrats were not the party of reform. They fought tooth and nail against the Civil Rights Act, which was written by the Repuiblicans, and continued to exhibit racial animosity after its passage. George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson and Ted Kennedy made quite a number of negative comments abouit the African American community of the time and used the “N” word repeatedly and openly. They finally realized that it would be political suicide to continue to oppose the Act and did a complete about face. Johnson stated their new strategy by saying that if they could convince the “N” that the Act was their idea, they would get the “N” vote for the next 100 years. And that is what they did.

    • Michael Krieger – Carole Emberton may be rewriting a little history when she wrote “…the platforms of the two parties reversed each other in the mid-20th century, due in large part to white ‘Dixiecrats’ flight out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By then, the Democratic Party had become the party of ‘reform,’ supporting a variety of ‘liberal’ causes, including civil rights, women’s rights, etc. whereas this had been the banner of the Republican Party in the nineteenth century.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 only passed with the support of the Republicans in the Senate. If you don’t believe this it is easy to check the voting records. It was the Democrat Senate that rejected the Civil Rights Act of 1957 that was supported by Republicans. By 1964, the Republican Party had 100 years of history for supporting civil rights. This being a fact, why would “white ‘Dixiecrats”‘ flee the Democrat Party to join and organization with such a long history of opposing the very principles that they fought against.

      One must ask, “If the positions of the two parties reversed their platform position in the 1950’s, why was Martin Luther King still affiliated with the Republican Party when he was killed in 1968?” Would not he have changed his party affiliation to one that more closely fit his principles had such a fundamental change had occurred. The change was in the Democrat Party’s realization that black America was a huge voting block that could be manipulated. They have done a very good job of doing that since 1964.

      In a quote from Ronald Kessler’s book, “Inside The White House” Lyndon B. Johnson told two governors and fellow Democrats, “I’ll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” while traveling on Air Force One. This truly illuminates the true motive for the Democrat Party’s embrace of the black community. If blacks stopped registering to vote the Democrat Party would abandon them.

    • You’ll notice that the Democrats have really started a sustained campaign to grab the Latino voting block. It suddenly occurred to someone that If Planned Parenthood keeps up their present pace the black population will be almost non-existent in several generations. So they need another dependable group attached to the government gravy train to replace the group that is disappearing.

  4. Are you really questioning either for Clinton or for Sanders? Have you forgotten the changes in the Democratic party since Kennedy was in the White House?

  5. Unfortunately many Americans only vote the way they have always voted. Does’t matter who the candidate is or what they stand for which is a shame and that is why America is in the shit hole we are in now. Plus the fact that democrat candidates depend heavily on giving away free stuff to people that are nothing more than a waste of skin.

  6. Do you want the manufacturing base , which is quickly leaving this country , to return so people can have job opportunities or do you want them to leave because they can’t/ won’t pay the highest Corp.taxes in the world ? Profits are used to procure better business, machines , etc . The 1percenters will evaporate if continued . Trump is the only one addressing this – Sanders – no , etc.

  7. The is the best of the Democrat Party: a tired old Marxist who is barely in touch with reality, and an evil woman with a thirty year history of malfeasance, scandals, and criminal activity.


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