Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, primarily because of positive associations with former president, Bill Clinton. But what have the Clintons actually done to earn the black vote? Have they done something concrete to improve the lives of most black people?
No!!! Just the opposite!!!
In 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president, black communities all across America were suffering an economic collapse. Manufacturing jobs were vanishing as the work was taken overseas for cheaper labor. Globalization and deindustrialization hurt workers of all colors, but African-Americans were hit especially hard. Unemployment rates among young black men quadrupled and crime rates in inner-city communities spiked.
On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made the economy his top priority, arguing persuasively that conservatives were using race to divide the nation and divert attention from the failed economy. But, after becoming President, he caved, and chose to follow former President Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, and welfare. He actually did more hurt to black communities than any previous presidents. In part, because Bill Clinton vowed that he would never permit any Republican to be perceived as tougher on crime than he was.
Just weeks before the New Hampshire primary, Clinton proved his toughness by overseeing the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally impaired black man who had so little understanding of what was happening he asked for his dessert, from his last meal, to be saved for later. After the execution, Bill Clinton remarked, “I can be nicked a lot, but no one can say I’m soft on crime.”
President Bill Clinton supported the largest increase of federal and state prisoners of any president in American history. He actively pushed for the federal “three strikes” law. President Clinton signed a $30 billion crime bill which created a large number of new federal capital crimes, and mandated a life-sentence for some three-time offenders. When President Clinton left office, in 2001, the U.S. had achieved the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported seven states where African-Americans made up 80-90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison. This, in spite of the fact they were no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites.
President Clinton’s administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking a higher education, supported laws that blocked federal 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. To make matters worse, the federal safety net for poor families was torn to shreds by the Clinton administration in its effort to “end welfare as we know it.”
It can be argued it is unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies of her husband. But Mrs. Clinton is riding on the illusion her husband was an advocate for the black community. Her own record is not much better. In 1994, as she supported a crime bill, she used racially coded wording to describe black children as animals. She said,
“They are not just gangs of kids anymore. 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.”
Both Clintons now express their regrets for the crime bill, and Mrs. Clinton says she favors criminal-justice reforms to undo the damage caused by her husband’s policies. Empty words. As the status quo candidate, there will be no significant changes, with the exception of banks and wall street gaining more freedom and power. Hillary Clinton cares about black votes.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, cares about black lives. Check out his record here, and see if he deserves your vote.