With New Hampshire slipping away and her struggles in Iowa, Hillary Clinton is banking on the black vote in South Carolina to potentially buffet ‘The Bern’. With the Sanders campaign, according to most polls, running neck and neck with the former Secretary of State, her campaign seems to be taking a fallback position. With the racial makeup of New Hampshire and Iowa being similar to mayonnaise, and Sanders hailing from Vermont there could be some wisdom in that approach. However, my question is why should the African American community just give her their vote? What would be the rational in doing so?
I remember this song from the 70’s that stated, “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, you got to have something if you want to be with me.” Hillary Clinton is trying to get the African-American vote without ever putting a major piece of legislation surrounding the plight, as well as ever making them the focal point outside of the political campaign. You would think this would have been on the minds of the Clinton’s since the major legislation passed by then President Clinton, the Crime Bill of 1994 and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 helped to create the prison industrial complex that oppresses many black men and the families in which they come from to this day. So the Clinton’s are not responsible for bringing anything to the party, yet expect to have a good ole time at our expense. It seems that many, if not all, black rank and file democrats in the house and senate have fallen in with the Clintons in spite of the horrendous problems these bills have caused our community.
So what is the affection that the African American community has with President Clinton? Was it the sax act on Arsenio Hall that seemed to endear the President to the black community? Is that where he got the title “the first black president” because he was seen as cool? Could it be that because of that Hillary got a pass to the community as well, or is there some political shenanigans going on here?
I believe that when giving your vote to a candidate, careful consideration should be taken into account. Issues that are a priority to you should be a part of that person’s agenda. But it can’t simply be rhetorical. There needs to be some substance behind the candidate; Some history that you can see. The best candidates have a passion and a lifetime of being actively engaged in the issues that concern you. They also participate in those issues when campaigning is not in season. Should we believe that a person who has taken money from for-profit prisons is the person that we desire to be our next president? Should a simple “I’m sorry for what these right wing policies handed out by a democratic president” be simply forgiven? I’m even reminded of the “super-predators” that our young people had become. There was no mention of how poverty, mental illness, lack of family structure, or racial and economic depravity were imposed on them, by those in office and the affluent who created these conditions. I’m not sure that meeting with the parents of slain children and voicing outrage, without demanding change, now helps our community.
So should we simply join African Americans for Hillary and be the firewall to buffet ‘The Bern’? We may want to do a little more digging before we sacrifice our vote.