It only takes a few minutes of watching MSNBC or FOX to see that the Democratic Party nominations have gotten to that awkward stage right before matters get ugly. Both candidates recently began tearing at the viability of the other in an escalating Cold War of words. While I’m in favor of sprinting toward the finish line, at what point does the image of the eventual nominee begin to suffer?
For a duo of campaigns that originally served as a contrasting foil to the opposition, the present is bearing a closer resemblance to the 2016 Republican mudslinging party. While Sanders is far off from calling Clinton a “sniveling, low coward”, and Clinton won’t be attaching “Lying” to Sanders nametag anytime soon, both candidates bear risk in allowing the competition to get too out of hand.
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, right, speaks, as Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton listens, at the NBC, YouTube Democratic presidential debate at the Gaillard Center, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
I wrote this as a sequel to a post from earlier this week on my other blog. That one was for class, but this one dives further into racial motivations behind supporting the Clintons. Please check out part 1.
I hear a lot of confusion from people my age when they hear that I or any other black person is voting for Hillary Clinton. Go ahead and get your jokes out of the way now, because I have a lot of explaining to do.
One of the first things I hear is, “Why would you support the Clintons? They have done the black community no favors and have labeled your young as ‘Super Predators in the past’”. So let’s talk about that.
In the above clip, Madam Clinton makes reference to the rise in youth gang rise, specifically implying that minority children were to blame. In the video she called them ‘super predators’ incapable of empathy who needed to be ‘brought to heel’. This, of course, is problematic because of the dehumanizing nature of Hillary’s word choice. Yes, it was vicious and condescending, but it was also 20 years ago. No, I don’t support the rhetoric. And yes, she has apologized since.
Twenty years ago the nation was in the midst of a crime epidemic in its major cities, affecting many minority neighborhoods in particular. I don’t know if you know this, but the 90’s were rough for the black community. As a community we were still feeling the effects of the crack epidemic AND watching members of our community succumb to AIDS/HIV. The consensus was that the streets needed cleaning through tough legislation that a MAJORITY of Americans – regardless of color – endorsed. At the time, Bill Clinton’s tough on crime rhetoric was deemed necessary by society. And for a time, inner city minority populaces prospered from these reforms. Neighborhoods were made safer with the unintended consequence of prisons overcrowding in disproportionate populations. It was a double edged sword that both protected members of the community and targeted others – but it was needed at the time. There goes one point to Clinton from the black community – cleaning up our streets. Clinton administration legislation made it so that a young Kendrick Lamar didn’t get shot through his own front window while watching cartoons and eating cereal. As somebody who once came home to a yellow tape outline where somebody died on my front porch as a kid, I can tell you about the violence that can precipitate in lower-income minority communities. I’ve also been the subject of unfair racially motivated targeting.