Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has been making the rounds to defend his policies while in office to support his wife’s run for President. The close working relationship that he and Hillary Clinton have infers a symbiosis that other ‘First Couples’ wouldn’t be jointly held accountable for. And in contrast to the oft offered argument that Mrs. Clinton isn’t responsible for her husband’s policies, she has taken responsibility (links below) for her role in developing, promoting and implementing the omnibus crime bill of 1994 that led to the massive buildout of the carceral state (mass incarceration) and for her use of the term ‘super-predator’ as racist slander against Black children.
When Bill Clinton was recently confronted by Black Lives Matter protestors he reiterated the talking points that he (and Hillary) used in 1994, that drug ‘gang’ violence was real, that his (and Hillary’s) interest was humanitarian, that many Blacks supported the crime bill and that the growth in incarceration rates for people of color was an unintended consequence. Left unsaid was that the crime bill was but one part of the Clinton’s opportunistic ‘dog-whistle’ strategy, that the policies tied to more than three centuries of racial repression in the U.S. and that regardless of whether the Clintons fully thought through the implications, they were willing to gamble with the lives of millions of Black and Brown youth for political gain.
Contemporary political rhetoric ‘works,’ to the extent that it does, by erecting walls between ideas, acts and policies that might otherwise be plausibly related. Basic physical security, as in freedom from violence for one’s person, family, neighbors and community, is a human right in a most basic sense. It is also the human right that has been most tightly circumscribed throughout American history. The American ‘story,’ as in the history written by the dominant culture, has been of White America ‘under attack’ from hostile indigenous peoples and inner-city ‘criminals’ whereas the overwhelming preponderance of actual violence has been committed against the indigenous population, kidnapped Africans held in slavery and their descendants.
Read more: Why Bill Clinton is Full of Shit
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