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Fri Jul 29, 2016, 03:11 PM

I'm With Her...but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party with us?

That is the question that Terrell Jermaine Starr asks over at Fusion.net

Will the Democratic Party truly stand with black people?
by Terrell Jermaine Starr

Will the Democratic Party truly stand with black people? Or will it continue to support the institutional white supremacy that murders us and disenfranchises us?

That is the real question Hillary Clinton needs to answer as she accepts her party’s nomination for president. As she moves toward November, she needs to articulate a message that the Democratic Party will not be business as usual on race.

But almost certainly, she won’t. Still she needs to be pushed to the limit on her commitment to the black people who she will need to win the White House.

She needs to challenge Democrats, especially white ones, way down the ballot to introduce legislation in their statehouses to challenge police unions that protect cops who kill the children of black women. Black women’s votes are responsible for her history-making nomination.

As everyone knows, I was not impressed with Clinton or Sanders during the primary regarding their commitments to the specific problems that the black community faces; problems that need solutions (which would be incremental in nature, THAT I can accept).

My position has always been that the integrity of 100% of the black vote should be respected by everyone...after all, our people worked too damn hard to get that vote.

Yes, 70-75% of the black vote in the primary went to Hillary Clinton. But I don't think that vote should be interpreted as meaning that we were electing Hillary Clinton as "Queen of the Black People" or that black folks love Senator Clinton so much....some of us do, of course...(but as page 38 of this IBD/TIPP poll , taken just before the California primary indicates, black people had a very favorable view of Bernie Sanders, as well...in fact, black people had a more favorable view of Sanders than any other racial/ethnic group...it was simply that black people had an even more favorable view of Hillary Clinton).

Mr. Starr is not simply throwing out rhetoric in his Fusion piece...he does provide a few clear-cut examples of where the Democratic Party, at all levels, can be considered to be...well, a bit suspect.

Take Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s former chief of staff.

For one, his administration closed six of the 12 mental health clinics in Chicago in 2014, a move that disproportionately hurt people of color. Black people are the least likely to have access to mental health treatment.

His handling of police brutality is equally egregious. Critics have long accused his office of attempting to bury video of a Chicago police officer shooting LaQuan McDonald 16 times, including while he was lying on the ground.

Yet black people still supported him during his contentious re-election; and so did Obama. In return, what has Emanuel offered black voters, who have been loyal to him, yet have been subjected to the city’s neglect and abusive policing?


And we have to call out Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, for his complicated history on criminal justice reform. His support for a program called Project Exile, in particular, deserves some inspection.

The program, which started in Virginia and which Kaine backed as the mayor of Richmond, moved the prosecution of certain gun crimes into federal court rather than state court, making it more likely that the convicted would face harsh mandatory-minimum sentences. The program’s opponents argue that it disproportionately hurt black people.

Yes, I am all for unity right now.

I think that Hillary Clinton is an incredibly intelligent, highly competent choice that the Democratic Party has chosen to be the presidential nominee. I would be proud to have Senator Clinton serve as the 45th President of the United States.

But even more important than that is...the integrity of the black vote and that the vote for Mrs. Clinton (because Cheeto Jesus ain't an option) is not the end but the means to an end.

Trust....but verify. And push.

(Personally, I think that Mr. Starr could have been a little tougher on black elected officials...but that's a conversation that I don't think I would want to air out here).

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Reply I'm With Her...but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party with us? (Original post)
Chitown Kev Jul 2016 OP
forjusticethunders Jul 2016 #1
Chitown Kev Jul 2016 #2
forjusticethunders Jul 2016 #3
qwlauren35 Aug 2016 #5
ismnotwasm Jul 2016 #4

Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Fri Jul 29, 2016, 03:39 PM

1. Looking at Kaine...


That Project Exile program is interesting. For example to make a comparison to a conceptually similar bill, the 94 Crime Bill we all know jacked up mass incarceration which heavily fell upon Black and Brown bodies. HOWEVER, we also now know that the crime bill was lobbied for BY black and brown people who felt that they were being abandoned by society to violence. Was that the case for this program? Was this program intended as a tool of white supremacy, or was it implemented in response to the demands of Black voters who wanted more protection from violence? I don't know the answer to these questions but I'll try to research.

It's more clear cut with Rahm; he's pretty much the kind of Democrat we can agree needs to have less of a role.

I think the key here is that Clinton is beholden to people of color in a way few candidates are - she does not defeat Bernie Sanders if she only gets 60% of the black vote. And she likely will not defeat Trump if she gets less than 90% of the national black vote.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 29, 2016, 03:47 PM

2. On the crime bill...

Yes, black and brown folks lobbied for that but they also wanted a heavier investment in communities in that bill (i.e. drug treatment programs)...a lot of those community investments were stripped from the final portions of the crime bill (or sharply reduced) and it wound up being a more punitive bill than originally intended.

As far as Project Exile, you can start here:


From a cursory reading, I think you are right about the original intent.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 29, 2016, 05:10 PM

3. It seems the problem is Dems have had to water down the positive parts of these bills and programs


because of more conservative electorates and legislatures that are more interested in locking up black and brown people, forcing them to choose between passing them with the poison pills or getting nothing. So why these histories give me pause (and that 20%ish of Black voters who voted against Hillary, for example, is looking straight at that), they may be products less of individual political tendencies, and more of the socio-political conditions of the time that cause these bills slanted away from addressing the root causes of crime, and towards locking up more black and brown people. Luckily, I think we can be more hopeful because of several factors:

- Black and brown people have MUCH more voting power and that power will only increase
- White Democrats are considerably more liberal than they were in 1994 or even 2010
- The Clinton/Kaine ticket will own POC big big big favors.

Unfortunately, the system is slanted in a way that even trying to respond to the wants and needs of POC will often turn against either those POC, or other POC.

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Response to forjusticethunders (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 20, 2016, 03:02 PM

5. Any update on this?

Has Hillary made any overtures to our community that are impressive? I hope to campaign for her, and I want all the ammo I can get.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Original post)

Sat Jul 30, 2016, 02:47 PM

4. K&R

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