Friday, October 21, 2016

When I think of Hillary Clinton, and the strong support she has from black people, it simply blows my mind.  Here is this woman, an elite northern school graduate from middle class Chicago whom was not only president of the young republicans but also a Goldwater girl in 1964 in the form of both volunteer and supporter. In case you may have forgotten, Barry Goldwater was the first Republican to win the Deep South since Reconstruction by campaigning to defeat the Civil Rights Act and consequently was the main person whom motivated Hillary Clinton to get into politics.

As expected, black politicians have lined up in like they were camping out to get the latest IPhone or new pair of Yeezies to endorse her. It as if by doing such and showing your loyalty to master, she will let you move into the big house as a reward for being faithful to the Clintons.  This was the way it was in 1992.

In 1992 when black folk put Bill Clinton in office in addition to some theatrics of his own (playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show and walking up to an American citizen during the debate to answer questions directly), African American communities across America in rural and urban areas were suffering and had been devastated economically. If one is old enough to recall, one reason for this was Bill Clinton’s ability to say things to the black community that he would say in opposite to white communities. On the same day in the morning Bill Clinton would be singing Lift Every Voice and Sing at a NAACP or black Baptist church meeting and later on that night speaking to a room full of Dixiecrats tell them how he was willing to be tougher on crime and make our cities safer than republicans ever could.

Bill, the democrats, the service economy, big banks, Wall Street and the average white American won but not black folk, we got the shaft. The late 1980s and early 1990s was a period of mass losses in factories across the nation and the diminution of U.S. manufacturing.  All because big corporations were moving abroad as a consequence of globalization and in search of cheaper labor and fewer regulations.  This continued at an even larger scale and greater pace with Clinton as President.

At the start of his presidency, America saw unemployment rates among young black men multiply to pornographic levels. As a direct result, crime increased and we were watching the start of the crack cocaine epidemic. Now Blacks were in essence caged in segregated public housing hoping that the Democratic president would do something to help as he promised during his campaign. He was able to secure 83 percent supportfrom black voters in 1992.

Unfortunately under the Clinton regime we observed the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates in American history. He was firmly in support of the sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which not only resulted in disproportionate arrest and sentencing for African Americans, it also increased funding for drug-law enforcement as a continuation of prior republican administrations war on drugs.  He also pushed for a federal “three strikes”law and in 1994 he signed a $30 billion crime bill that mandated life sentencesfor some three-time offenders, and provided $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces among other things.  

By 1996, after securing 84 percent black vote to gain a second term and using coded language about race (crime, welfare, crack cocaine) to divide the nation and divert attention from the economy that worked only for the top one percent, the federal the penal budget became twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps

The next move for his administration was to cut billions from public-housing and child-welfare (Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)) budgets and have them re-directed to increasing incarceration. In fact, Clinton cut funding for public housing more than 60 percent ($17 billion) while increasing funding for prisons by more than 170 percent ($19 billion).

So what Bill Clinton supported from a policy perspective was what democrats in large urban areas had been supporting for the prior 50 years - discriminatory laws that keep black and poor people in their place while extracting lifeline resources that serve to sustain people during times of economic hardship. But this wasn’t enough for him; he had to go even beyond cruelty.

Next the Clinton Administration eliminated Pell Grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release and overtly supported laws that would make it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history.

It was President Clinton who proposed 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 – this was his brainchild. No black men whom had been released from prison with nothing could no longer return home to family if they lived in federally assisted housing or else the entire family would be kicked out. On top of this, the Clinton Administration promised,signed into law and made certain that anyone convicted of a felony drug offense would never be able to get federal financial aid if you had drug convictions.  He signed into law a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense.

When Bill was finished, more than half of working-age African-American with criminal records was now by legal sanction, burdened with congressional and presidential approved discrimination in housing, employment and access to education. Moreover, after his two terms as President, Clinton left the nation with the highest rate of incarceration in the world, thanks to his 1994 Crime Bill which saw conservatively, more than 80% percent of all drug offenders sent to prison being black men and the unemployment rate for non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) being north of 40 percent - all with the approval and support of the current democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the unusual accomplice of the black vote. Now I know many will say that this was Bill and Not Hillary. Truthfully they are one in the same – HILLBILL.

So all I am asking is what have the Clintons done to keep black folk voting for them other than belong to the Democratic Party? Why do impoverished Black people living from paycheck to paycheck support Hillary Clinton?

The housing bubble that precipitated the crash that created the Great Recession was done mostly on the backs of people of color. The bankers who profited from preying on the black communities got bailed out to the tune of trillions of taxpayer dollars; their victims mostly lost their homes. The perpetrators were never even indicted by the Obama administration, which had been tight with Wall Street from jump.

And it is bazaar how folk forget how she and her husband went after then Senator Obama.  In 2008 while campaigning in South Carolina Hillary suggested that Dr. King’s dream was wasn’t anything without President Lyndon B. Johnson passing the Civil Rights Act. Tim Russert, then the host for NBC Meet the Press said it was as if she was saying “it took a white man to get blacks to the mountaintop.” Then there is what Bill Clinton was reported to have said after it was reported in 2010 he was upset that Senator Ted Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary. In the book Game Change written by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin it is reported in a conversation with Kennedy he said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee,” describing Senator Obama.  We won’t even speak on her dismal record with Black New Yorkers or Blacks across the nation while she served as the Senator from New York.

The simple truth is that Black Americans have been voting for the Democrats consistently for more than the past forty years and we have little if anything to show for it with the exception of a few Attorney Generals, a President, and a museum. Why, because economically, we have been shown but fail to acknowledge that the economic positions of the democratic clearly elucidate it as being the party of the affluent white collar white and no one else.

How can we forget or ignore that it was the Clinton administration that deregulated banks and Wall Street which was a major factor in the financial crisis the U.S. experienced in 2008 and had a more than disparate impact on African Americans compared to any other ethnic racial group in the country. And his relationship with Wall Street and Big banks is no different from his wife.  How else can folk get upwards of $250,000 for forty-five minute speeches without doing any actual work? The role of the practices of big banks and Wall Street on the African American community cannot be denied yet she panders to us like the man on the corner begging for some change. She may speak out about redlining practices that are discriminatory and illegal and predatory lending but the only time we see or hear from her, like most other democrats is when they want our votes and support while at the same time she is all buddy-buddy with the folk who are making it extremely hard for African Americans (the people she called super predators and deadbeats) to obtain a fair and equal economic footing in America. So again I just ask why impoverished Black people support Hillary Clinton. 

For more than 40 years her party has collectively siphoned the African American vote without returning anything in exchange for our continuous and even subsistent electoral support and what have we received or to show for it economically?  A few social programs designed to make us helpless and dependent on government, the status of a permanant status as secondary class citizens in America just like during the Black Codes and Jim Crow, and historically high levels of crime in our communities, unemployment, poverty, incarceration rates, poorer health and wellness status and mass illiteracy.

I take it these basic public benefits are the aspects of Hillary Clinton’s policy that excites you and her base – have at it. Personally I deserve better and much, much more.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing in this article, I can a lot and could also be a reference I hope to read the next your article update


Torrance T. Stephens. Powered by Blogger.

I am Author, Writer and Infectious Disease Scientist. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

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