Black Lives Don’t Matter, Black Votes Do: the Racial Hypocrisy of Hillary and Bill Clinton

Source:  Counterpunch
April 15 2016

By Richard W. Behan

Michelle Alexander.jpg

 The Clinton legacy is black impoverishment—so why are we still voting for Hillary?

–Michelle Alexander, authorThe New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 

African-Americans have few reasons to vote for Hillary Clinton. No one understands this better—and says it more forcefully—than Michelle Alexander, civil rights activist, author, and professor of law. She has studied the public life of the Clintons, chronicled their catastrophic impacts on black lives, and observed their self-serving, hypocritical pandering to the African-American community.

The Clintons have always cultivated a warm affection for African-Americans. One iconic image shows Bill riffing on his saxophone for Arsenio Hall. Another pictures Hillary hugging parishioners in black churches. Similar beguiling images appear daily in the media as her presidential campaign progresses.

Loyalty tragically misplaced

The affection seems to be mutual. It was apparent in the primary elections across the South, where black voters gave Hillary Clinton overwhelming majorities. But their loyalty is tragically misplaced: the Clintons’ affection is not matched by a serious commitment to relieving the poverty, prejudice, mass incarceration, and second-class citizenry suffered by much of the black community today.

The Clintons’ affection is simply a political expedient. They have relied on the black vote in virtually every election either of them has faced over the past 24 years, but their respective incumbencies have savaged this faithful community.

Black Lives Shattered

“From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America.” Those are Michelle Alexander’s words, accompanying her recent online essay, The Clinton Legacy is Black Impoverishment–So Why Are We Still Voting for Hillary? (The article appeared in print form in the Nation magazine on February 29 under the title, “Black Lives Shattered.”)

The case is compelling for African-Americans to withhold their votes from Hillary Clinton.

Read the full article here: Black Lives Don’t Matter, Black Votes Do: the Racial Hypocrisy of Hillary and Bill Clinton

One thought on “Black Lives Don’t Matter, Black Votes Do: the Racial Hypocrisy of Hillary and Bill Clinton

  1. The prospects of a Hillary Clinton presidency amidst charges of her being bribed by Wall Street and corporate America and scandals detailed in the book “Queen of Chaos” should be frightening not only to Americans but also to every person on the planet including those who are intrigued by her and those who even like her.

    Of course, Hillary Clinton and her followers will push back against the charges of big money bribes, political scandals like Benghazi, Whitewater and others as they always do to say that they are baseless charges and or allegations concocted by her right-wing and left-wing opponents.

    For me the issue is not so much who makes the charges but more importantly whether they are credible and therefore based on facts. If they are factually based, it is interesting that neither the right-wing or the left-wing including her political opponent for the democratic nomination for president, Bernie Sanders, have successfully managed to politically or legally discredit her to the point of making her politically marginalized and unelectable.

    The obvious question is why? What factors explain that even though increasing numbers of Americans including democrats do not trust Hillary and even say she is “dishonest” and “a liar”, nonetheless many of them will vote for her to be president? Is it that Americans are simply dumb? Or is it that many or maybe most Americans are not informed about the charges, allegations, scandals and arguably even potential crimes of the former Secretary of State and former Senator and First Lady of the US? Is there a role for political loyalty in making Ms. Clinton politically viable independent of the charges and the scandals against her? What is the role of the political elites particularly those in the Democratic Party, the mainstream media and the financial and corporate oligarchy in protecting her political image?What is the role of the relatively weak national progressive movement in the US in enhancing the political viability of Hillary Clinton and the prevalence of right-wing and pro-corporate candidates from both dominant parties? Is there also political incompetence in prosecuting the case against Hillary Clinton both politically and legally?

    There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s continued political viability as is evident in the current race for her nomination of the candidacy of the Democratic Party is the culmination of all of the factors above with some playing a bigger role than others. For example, the role of the blind loyalty of black people for Hillary and Bill Clinton has played (and if she wins the nomination) will play a big role in possibly winning the White House. The latter should not be the case given the role of the Clintons as President and First Lady in decimating the lives of millions of black people through the 1994 Crime Bill and their 1996 Welfare Bill which exploded the incarceration and poverty rates of Americans but particularly black Americans.

    As Michelle Alexander deftly discusses in her articles for the Nation Magazine entitled “Why Hillary Clinton does not deserve the black vote? and “The Clinton Legacy is Black Improvishment-So Why are We Still Voting for Hillary?” Perhaps the best explanation for these queries resides in the blind loyalty of millions of black people who are unable to see at this point that they are simply being used by the Clintons in this case Hillary for what Michelle Alexander correctly calls the Clintons “political expedient.”

    Thus, in this regard should Hillary Clinton win her party’s nomination and the presidency, the role of too many black people in her inevitable pursuit of her pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate policies domestically and her pro-war, pro-Pentagon policies globally will be paradoxically most severe for most of these black voters who would have voted for her.

    Here, the special role of the so-called black political and intellectual elites, many of whom have lobbied for and mobilized masses of black folks for Hillary will have to be seriously scrutinized in the future building of mass movements for radical change including the dismantling of white supremacy in all spheres of life in the US. As one of my professors said to me not so long ago ” colonialism is oppressive but self-colonialism is even worst.” Unfortunately, too many millions of black folks particularly the so-called elites in America, Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere are actively engaged in their own colonial oppression which they do voluntarily by voting for foxes to guard them-the hens.

    As stated earlier a multiple of factors cited earlier explain the former Secretary of State’s political viability today one of which, namely, the blind loyalty of black folks that the Clintons exploit endlessly along with the slavish support of their black political servants and by extension white supremacy.

    Another critical factor that must be evaluated not only to understand Hillary Clinton’s continued political viability but more generally the political viability and quality of candidates from both the democratic and republican parties is the relative weakness of the national progressive movement in the US to influence the policy stances of candidates on the myriad of challenges facing the US from climate change and racism to the $15 minimum wage.

    The relative organizational and political weaknesses of the progressive movement as a social force to not only seriously influence the outcome of elections at all levels of the political system and the policy positions of the candidates is one measure of the weakness of the movement. However, another indicator of the weakness of the progressive movement is also its failure to field electable candidates that are independent of the major parties who can win city, county, congressional seats as well as the presidency.

    Indeed, if the progressive movement had deep and broad roots among the ordinary folks, it would be reasonable to expect that progressive and anti-capitalist leaders would not have to endorse candidates but rather candidates to political offices including those of the major parties would have to endorse the progressive movements. If and when the latter becomes a political reality in the US, it will be without doubt that the political viability of those who seek political office whether from the establishment parties, the Green Party or otherwise would depend on their endorsement of the movement.

    In this context, the political character of candidate like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and those on the Republican side would necessarily have to be more progressive on the issues since the support or lack support of the movement could determine their success or failure at the polls.

    As such candidates like Hillary Clinton would simply not be politically viable and bigots like Trump, Cruz and others would potentially be marginalized candidates who could not be so overtly neo-fascist and bigoted since arguably they would necessarily have to temper their policy positions in keeping not only with the political mood of the electorate but also with the political power of the progressive movement.

    Consequently, the current political and organizational weaknesses of the progressive movement among the people in the US is a critical reason for the political viability of an openly pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate and pro-war candidate like Hillary Clinton and such openly neo- fascist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic candidates like Trump, Cruz and Carson among others.

    However, another factor arguably a more important factor for Hillary’s continued political relevance and viability despite the legitimate charges of her being a political commodity for big money, her scandals and other very questionable dealings that are detailed in the book “Queen of Chaos” is the aggressive support she continues to receive from her apologists of all hues and the main stream media.

    The role of the mainstream media and Hillary’s political surrogates who work at all levels of the media cannot and should not be underestimated in their quest to keep her viable. In this context, the endorsements she received from two of the biggest newspapers in the US, namely, the New York Times and the Washington Post should therefore come as no surprise.

    They prop her up through articles, ” their objective analysis” of the issues relating to charges against her like Whitewater, Benghazi and other scandals that she has been involved with in her career. Hillary’s political surrogates are all over the media to sanitize her image and rehabilitate her credibility whether it is on shows on CNN or MSNBC or other TV shows or radio talk shows or written articles in the newspapers perhaps an exception would be the right-wing Fox News TV station.

    Consequently, the mainstream media houses play a particularly important role in sustaining Hillary’s credibility by fighting off controversies and scandals that in anyway threaten her political viability and legacy as an establishment political servant for the interests of Wall Street, corporate America, the defense industry, the Israeli lobby and other powerful political and economic class interests of the US ruling classes that are opposed to the broad interests of the American population.

    Thus, as the indisputable corporate candidate for the corporate controlled Democratic Party, it should be made clear that all those who voted for Hillary Clinton during the primaries and those who will vote for her in the presidential campaign should she become her party’s nominee, (a more likely outcome since in 57.9% win to Bernie’s 42.3% in New York ) will be responsible for her predictable pursuit of wars and other corporate interests domestically and internationally should she become the next president.

    Despite Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric in the democratic debates with her rival Bernie Sanders about how President Obama took tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street and rebuffed their interests in Dodd-Frank suggesting that she will do the same, it is obvious that the interests of Wall Street and corporate America are fundamentally represented by both she and Obama. That is precisely why Dodd-Frank is not as strong as it could have and should have been particularly after Wall Street bankers blew up the US and global economies with their fraudulent financial practices that have caused millions of Americans and other working people to lose their jobs, savings, homes and other assets acquired over a lifetime. Consequently, Dodd Frank needed to have been much tougher on Wall Street to provide financial protection to Main Street from the foxes on Wall Street and those in the US Congress and the White House who are bribed by their big money to protect them.

    In closing, those who vote for Hillary Clinton will soon find out should she become the president that like Obama, her husband Bill “Wall Street ” Clinton, the policy interests that she will have to pursue in all spheres whether its finance, climate change, health care, education,trade and others are inimical to their interests (and will) as they will represent payback to Wall Street and the corporate interests that poured millions in her campaign.

    They will hopefully learn once again that ” he who pays the piper always calls the tune.” When all is said and done, time will inevitably provide more bitter experiences once again for all Americans particularly those who are made poor and those who are hanging on to their “middle class status by debt driven consumption” for cars, homes, vacations, clothes, education, health care and a lot more within the capitalist status quo for which Hillary Clinton is an enthusiastic cheer leader.

    Clearly as to whether the world will survive a Hillary Clinton presidency is not nor should it be left up to her presidency and the imperialist interests she will represent. Instead the survival of the world from climate disaster, more financial crises, wars and other disasters that the big money donor classes that support a Hillary Clinton presidency should she become the president will depend on all of us in the progressive movement and those who are outside of it but are decent and dignified enough to recognize that PEACE without JUSTICE is a formula for DESTRUCTION for all of humanity!!

    “Those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act” Albert Einstein

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