Hillary Clinton is working hard to clinch the young black vote. As HBCUs kick off the school year, Clinton is kicking off her HBCU tour. Although a good idea it's one that her former opponent took early on. Bernie Sanders hired an HBCU grad to serve as his HBCU coordinator (stops were later cut from the tour after the South Carolina primary). But Clinton won't be on campus this fall, instead she has sent forth campaign surrogates such as Tim Kaine, who is kicking off the campaign at FAMU.
Some of Clinton's surrogates have been Morehouse alum Bakari Sellers, who visited Savannah State to speak to students about the upcoming election. Clinton has also called on other heavy hitters in the black community such as North Carolina Rep. and Congressional Black Caucus Chair G.K. Butterfield and DNC Chair Marcia Fudge. A Clinton aide explained to Buzzfeed: “Through this renewed push and building off efforts from the primary, the campaign will encourage HBCU students to organize their student bodies, register, re-register, and mobilize their peers for the election."
Hopefully Tim Kaine does more than rattle off the names of the HBCUs in his state and stands behind the importance and legacy of these institutions. Clinton has discussed her college affordability plan (which targets HBCUs) including creating a $25 billion fund that serves low- and middle-income students. As the election gets closer and closer, it will be interesting to see what else she pulls out of her hat.
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Let's cut straight to the chase. If America held superlatives like high school, this time last year, Donald Trump would have rightfully earned "least likely to become a presidential candidate". Because life is such a funny thing, he has somehow beat all the odds and climbed the political ladder in becoming the presumptive GOP nominee. He's known for making unfounded statements and repeatedly bashing minorities. So, there is really no surprise by now that Trump has a high unfavorable rating with blacks.
In a poll released earlier this week, 94% of black adults surveyed have negative views on Trump. This percentage is up six percent since a May survey. As for his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, she earned 79 percent of favorability with blacks.
Why is there such a large number of black disapproving of Trump? Oh, just this little thing called racism. Trump denies any claims of being racist because you know, he says he's not racist and actually has a favorite African American.
"I am not a racist, in fact, I am the least racist person that you've ever encountered," Trump said in an interview with The Washington Post.
Trump says he's confident, he'll gain minority support by November.
"I'm going to do great with the African-Americans. African-American youth is 58 percent unemployed. African-Americans in their prime are substantially worse off, you know, economically than a — than the whites in their prime. And it's very — it's a very sad situation," Trump said on CNN's “State of the Union” back in February.
FYI, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed the unemployment rate as 25.2 percent for blacks ages 16 to 19 in January.
A new video from Hillary Clinton's camp even captured Trump's year long tirade of offensive remarks.
Hard to believe it's only been a year since Trump announced his candidacy for president. https://t.co/fYf3Kep3Qe
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 17, 2016
There's five months left before election day and no telling what he will say or do next.
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So, we need talk about the Bernie Sanders campaign. Much can be said about Sanders’ electability, but that’s not what we need to talk about. No, we need to talk about his lack of attention, or seemingly, his lack of desire, to address racial justice issues. Ultimately, this lack of consideration for non-whites has cost his campaign a shot at winning the White House.
First, let’s start with the fundamentals of every campaign, both local and presidential, and everything in between. The first step is always, always, figuring out your base. Your base is the lifeblood of your campaign; your base will support you, make calls for you, knock on doors for you, and, most importantly, vote for you. When you’re in a primary campaign, (competing against an opponent in the same political party) your base is often the same as your opponent’s, and the primary becomes a race to see who can secure the base first. Ultimately, whoever secures the base wins the nomination and goes on to compete in the general election.
The base of the democratic party is, and has been since the late 1960s, black people. More specifically, we’ve seen that black women vote in higher numbers than any other demographic and, in 2012, this led to Barack Obama being elected for a second term. Inversely, during the 2008 election, Hillary Clinton’s lack of outreach to the base of the Democratic Party (read: black people) led to the demise of her bid to be the party’s nominee.
Bernie Sanders and his campaign seem to have missed the entire 2008 election. From the word ‘go,’ this campaign seemed determined to ignore black people in what has been a very futile attempt to attract white progressive voters. These white progressive voters can’t produce a win in any states other than those with large white populations (New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, etc.)
It’s not as though the votes of black people have been locked up by the Clinton campaign. Hillary has not done much more to secure the votes of black people than the Sanders campaign. However, Bernie and his campaign have had numerous opportunities to reach out to black people: The demonstrations at Netroots and Seattle and the Forum in Minnesota come to mind first. At these events, he doubled down and decided to leave and/or stand silently while security tried to remove demonstrators. He ignored the questions and demands being lobbed at him by black voters, and instead decided to talk about economics and raising the minimum wage as solutions for the problems addressing the black community.
This ignores the real problems. Sandra Bland didn’t die in a jail cell because she didn’t have a job. Mike Brown’s body was not left in the streets of Ferguson, MO for hours on a hot summer day because he didn’t have an education. The unemployment rates in black communities are not almost double that in white communities because the minimum wage is not high enough. However, listening to Bernie Sanders tell it, you’d think it was all because black people don’t get a fair shake from the millionaire and billionaire class.
The lack of fortitude to address real issues and to speak out against injustice directly contrasts the portrayal of Sanders that his supporters and campaign have worked to convey. The portrayal of Sanders as a relentless reformer and a principled politician that goes out of his way to fight for what’s right is not what his actions display. The message I’m getting from the Sanders campaign on racial issues can, ironically enough, be summed in a quote that his campaign surrogate Killer Mike used to describe Sanders’ opponent, Senator Clinton: “Hold on, wait a while.”
The Sanders campaign strategy has been akin to the Southern Strategy employed by Republicans: Center white people and their anger, and have them work to protect their entitlements despite the fact that no one is trying to take anything away from them.
Following Seattle, Bernie made an effort to name those killed by police in his stump speech. He started invoking Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice and others. Although when asked about the cops that shot and killed Tamir Rice not being indicted he said he wasn’t familiar with the details of the case and could only say it was ‘disconcerting’. He released a racial justice plan, which was really just a list of things he thinks are bad with no solutions to those problems. He has, to this date, not released a comprehensive racial justice plan that includes a timeline or list of costs, yet he can release a timeline with costs for breaking up the banks, single-payer healthcare and making colleges free.
This has not been a campaign of political revolution, it has been a campaign of half-baked ideas, based in the idea that the issues affecting the black community can be addressed so long as the issues of white progressives are addressed first. The talking points that Bernie has been employing on the campaign trail about black people are just that — talking points. There has been no real action or plan from the campaign to do anything to address the plight of the very people who could be responsible for making him the nominee. It reeks of arrogance and shows a complete lack of understanding.
We’re currently in a position where Bernie has little to no chance of winning the Democratic Party’s nomination. A line can be drawn to this fact directly from his lack of black support. Bernie Sanders, his campaign and supporters have spoken often about the need for ‘political revolution,’ but listening to his deafening silence regarding racial issues in America leads me to believe that this revolution would not help the base of the Democratic Party. We’ve seen that ‘trickle-down economics’ doesn’t work, and I, for one, have never been interested in a trickle-down political revolution.
Organizer by day, organizer by night. LA native (really). I write to break through oppression and stupidity. Twitter: @oaverette
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This piece was co-written by Shane Bernard and Erin Logan.
I've never wanted to vote against a candidate before purely out of spite until Bernie Sanders' supporters went to work.
— KB (@KaraRBrown) February 28, 2016
Okay so, here’s the deal. Supporters of certain presidential candidates tend to have certain reputations. Donald Trump’s stans have a reputation for assaulting people of color.
Bernie Sanders supporters are working hard to earn a reputation for trolling anyone who isn’t feeling the Bern.
Bernie supporters are the Jehova Witnesses of politics.
— Xavier D'Leau (@XavierDLeau) March 12, 2016
The relentless harassment of black people on Twitter started around the time two protesters — Marissa Johnson and Mara Jacqueline Willaford — founders of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Seattle, interrupted Senator Sanders at a rally. The disruption caused an intense dialogue in the liberal community. Although their tactics were not orthodox, they helped to ensure a dialogue surrounding state violence against black bodies. Many white people condemned their actions and denounced Black Lives Matter entirely.
Their tactics were not comfortable. But that was the point.
What they did was create a disruption like the way police disrupt black communities with violence. And yet, white Sanders stans amped up their antics.
Sanders supporters spent day tweeting #MississippiBerning, a bad look for a campaign struggling with accusations of tone-deafness on race.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) March 9, 2016
Election Day! @BernieSanders has been fighting for our rights for 40 years. Prove it wasn't in vain. #MichiganBerning #MississippiBerning
— BernieOrBust2016 (@BernieOrBust16) March 8, 2016
Okay so, what the f*ck.
When we first saw this hashtag, we thought it was a joke. But no. These white Bernie stans were dead ass serious. There isn’t much wiggle room to claim ignorance on this one. The title of the movie they got this hashtag from is pretty clear about the plot of the film. And yet, they used this hashtag anyway. #MississippiBerning serves as a reminder that white liberals are still white, clueless about the real terror black people face from their own government.
One of the many ways white Bernie stans try to force black people to #FeelTheBern is by pointing to his past involvement with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. But his past is not enough to wash away the current atrocities plaguing black bodies. Although we appreciate Bernie’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, it certainly doesn’t automatically qualify him to deal with the complex and ever-changing political landscape that we’re confronted with today. If that were the case, we’d all be rallying around Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and you can see we BEEN put them out to pasture. In the words of Janet Jackson, “what have you done for me lately?”
Despite what the poster above suggests, black people are not a monolith. Need proof? Look up Ben Carson and Clarence Thomas. Like any other group of people, we have different life experiences, different opinions and different beliefs in who should lead our country. Some of us might #FeelTheBern and some might want to make America great again. Furthermore, it’s inappropriate to blame Sander’s failure to get the presidential nomination on black people.
As we all know, the chances of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Nomination has always been a long shot.
That’s why when he won in Michigan, everyone labeled it a “massive upset.” The truth is that Bernie Sanders spent the majority of his career in the Senate as an independent, curbing both the democrats and the republicans. Although this has earned him a reputation of not being bought by anyone, it also hasn’t done him any favors within the democratic establishment that he’s now seeking the nomination for. Therefore, it’s not exactly shocking that the democratic superdelegates are deciding to rock with Hillary Clinton for now, if for no other reason than to reward her for always standing in their corner.
The result is that Clinton has a massive lead over Sanders thus far in the race when accounting for delegates and superdelegates. However, instead of accurately placing the blame on the structure of our political process, many liberals on the democratic side have decided to do away with logic and throw black people under the bus for Sander’s shortcomings thus far.
The most recent (and nauseating) critique came from Examiner’s article titled,”Black Democrats are voting like poor Republicans, against their self-interest.”
This idea implies that African Americans are uneducated and easily manipulated. White liberals are having a hard time grasping why some African Americans are voting for Hillary Clinton, but instead of talking with those people or doing some research, they take the easy route and decide to insult intelligence. The issue is so bad that many people actually believe that black people support the Clintons just because we believe Bill Clinton is black — you know, because he plays the saxophone and got head in the oval office.
If you want to critique why some black people are voting for Clinton afford us the same complexity and nuance you would critique any other group with. Maybe some voters in the black electorate are already aware of Clinton’s flaws but are willing to use them as leverage against her to make stronger campaign commitments, so that they can hold her feet to the fire if she were to be elected. Or maybe some voters might actually be selfish capitalists who are only interested in their bottom line. Literally, anything other than the “These foolish negroes don’t know what’s best for them” narrative that’s currently being pushed.
I guess the most frustrating thing about this whole ordeal is that black people have played a huge role in getting Bernie this far in the race to begin with. The Black Lives Matter movement is arguably the catalyst that allowed a candidate like Bernie to emerge in the democratic party. Black Twitter and black protestors have created the atmosphere where candidates are discussing black lives, police brutality and systematic racism during national presidential debates. However, even our 'progressive' and 'liberal' brethren still show flashes of smug superiority that makes many people want to roll their eyes so far into the back of their heads they can see their own thoughts.
We get it. Bernie Sanders really is our only shot at transformative politics that is for the people this upcoming election cycle. Still, the desire to have black people #FeelTheBern is tip-toeing towards an assault on black minds. So, untag us from your racist Twitter threads. We want out.
How do you feel about the public commentary on black voters? Let us know in the comments below!
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As we close in on the March 1st Super Tuesday Primary, Hillary Clinton just eked out a major victory over Bernie Sanders in the Nevada Caucus, strengthening her argument that she has the support to carry a general election in November.
What was initially supposed to be a smooth victory for Secretary Clinton in Nevada in the months leading up to the Caucus quickly turned into a nail-biter as Bernie Sanders surged in the polls during the past several days. But in the end, it appears that it was the African-American vote that made all the difference. Although the white and Hispanic vote went to Senator Sanders, the African-American vote broke so heavily in Clinton's favor it essentially erased Bernie's lead among other demographics.
According to MSNBC Political Correspondent Steve Kornacki, early entrance polls indicated 77 percent of black voters showed up for Hillary Clinton, compared to only 22 percent for Senator Bernie Sanders, a significant three to one difference. There are areas of uncertainty when looking at entrance polls, especially when combined with the fact that voter turnout was the lowest we've seen in almost 12 years. Still, it gives us a useful snapshot into how voters are evolving as the race unfolds.
Latest entrance poll breakdown:
White: 49-47% Sanders
Black: 76-22% Clinton
Latino: 53-45% Sanders
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) February 20, 2016
This is an interesting statistic because it shows that despite Sander's major push to earn the black vote, which includes a Black Barbershop and HBCU Tour, black voters still haven't completely warmed up to his message and are still standing strong for Hillary Clinton. This is a particularly worrying stat for the Sanders camp as the election cycle heads south to South Carolina, because if Hillary's support among black voters holds up like it did in Nevada, this primary contest can potentially turn ugly real quick.
For now, Senator Sanders is still the preferred candidate among the younger voters across the board. However, if black millennial voters want to see Sanders win the Democratic Primary over Secretary Clinton, they might have to lock their parents in the broom closet on Super Tuesday and beyond, because it appears that many older black Americans are still with her. Maybe it's time for us to sit our parents down and have "The Talk".
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Today, former President Bill Clinton will begin campaigning with Hillary Clinton as part of a strategy to help the former Secretary of State secure the Democratic nomination for President. While the Clinton campaign is seeking to leverage the former president’s popularity, some of her critics including, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, are preparing to renew a national conversation about Mr. Clinton’s personal indiscretions. As Mr. Clinton reemerges, however, some of his actions during Mrs. Clinton’s previous bid for the democratic nomination may be of even greater interest Black voters.
Back in 2008, one of the most powerful African American in Congress, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), publicly noted serious concern about the “venomous” tone of the Clinton campaign; a tone that was set by Mr. Clinton. Mr. Clinton, controversially, compared Barack Obama’s victory in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson’s victories in ’84 and ’88, seemingly casting then Sen. Obama as the 2008 elections “black candidate.” When questioned about negative reactions to those comments Clinton responded aggressively,
“I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign, that they planned to do it all along.”
Rep. Clyburn notably told Mr. Clinton to “chill out,” fearing that the tone of the campaign may negatively affect voter turnout for the general election. In Rep. Clyburn’s memoir, he details a heated 2 a.m. phone call from Mr. Clinton where the former president held Clyburn responsible for Mrs. Clinton’s poor showing in South Carolina. In the phone call, Mr. Clinton noted,
“If you bastards want a fight, you damn well will get one."
Mr. Clinton would later apologize.
What is the significance of this all? On one hand, Bill Clinton isn’t running for President - this is Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. Also President Obama seems to have forgiven Mr. Clinton, if he ever even held any animosity in the first place. (Remember the 2012 Democratic Convention). However, one of Mrs. Clinton’s challenges as she seeks to succeed President Obama is reassembling the “Obama Coalition” of young diverse (and Black) voters. To accomplish this, Mr. Clinton certainly cannot allow himself to become a racially divisive figure.
Mr. Clinton is scheduled to appear at two of Hillary's campaign events today in New...
Ben Carson is trying to target black millennial voters in an unconventional way — by creating a rap ad for the radio. ABC news reported that the ad is “scheduled to air Friday in eight markets.” However, they released the ad a day early on their Soundcloud page.
Now, as a black millennial myself, you can imagine my surprise seeing this on social media early Thursday morning. Dr. Carson has been running his entire campaign as if he is the “who’s man is this?” meme in human form.
And personally, I’ve been successful at ignoring the oddity of his statements. But this? I have too many questions to ask. So here they are:
How much you did you spend to sample the “Anchorman” jazz flute scene on this ad?
Will Candy Carson be on the remix?
WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?
What’s most shocking about this whole ad is the lengths that Dr. Carson has gone to in order to give us something that NO ONE asked for or wanted. Jokes aside, this is a perfect example of a candidate who realizes that they need the young black voters on their side to win, but completely misses the mark when it comes to things that matter to us. Do you know what young black voters really care about? Our lives mattering to the justice system and the next President of the United States acknowledging that. But you’ve stated on the record that you think members of the Black Lives Matter movement are “bullies” and that Mike Brown was a “bad actor.”
Instead of listening to us when we speak about what issues will encourage us to vote for you, you gave us a rap ad. That will play on urban radio. Because all young black voters like the “hippity-hop,” right?
Let this be a lesson to any current and future presidential candidates: if you want the black millennial vote, LISTEN. We’ve been speaking and we’ve been sharing what we want if you take office. Don’t try to reduce your reach to us with dry stereotypes and impersonal ads. Do better, Dr. Carson.
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In the most recent Iowa caucus poll, Donald Trump has the support of 27 percent of Iowa participants, 6 points ahead of Ben Carson and 9 percent for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, according to a Quinnipiac University. In another poll earlier this week Donald Trump was shown doing well with Black voters with 25% of the vote, although some such as the Washington Post have questioned the methodology of the poll, it's clear that some percentage of the Black voting population is backing Trump.
Dr. Drew asks a woman why, watch her response below:
Watch it directly on HLN's website here. Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter @DrDrewHLN.
What do you think of her explanation? Let us know in the comments below. ...
Institutionalized racism has kept people of color oppressed throughout both the best and worse times of our country’s history. It has remained a constant that's varied in intensity but is nonetheless significantly damaging.
There have been monumental moments in our country’s history in which racial issues could no longer be ignored and action took place — moments such as the decree of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 and the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Our generation could once again fight for another moment, another chance for monumental change.
The past two years has brought forth heightened awareness of police brutality and violence against black people. We all face the unbearable truth that racism still thrives in our country. We’ve written and read articles breaking down racism in America. We’ve attended the protests and the rallies. But that's not enough to bring about change in America. We’ve made progress with educating the public. Now let’s make sure this is turned into true change — change within the system.
But when will this actually happen?
Race issues have always been put on the backburner and people of color are told that we must wait for bigger issues to be solved before they get to be heard. Yet we rarely get our turn to be heard. There should not be an excuse to ignore our issues altogether. We can wait no longer for our problems to be resolved. Because if it is not solved now, when will they ever be addressed? We need a president and elected officials who will recognize that our lives matter and keep our best interests in mind.
This is where I urge you to actually vote in 2016.
Many people argue that they are just one person, that their vote doesn’t matter, or that they don’t want to support any of the candidates because they hate all of them. But this isn’t the answer to our problems. Let’s face it, if we want to make change happen we need to force the hand of our elected officials and make it so that the law can be on our side. This won’t happen if you don’t vote.
See, the demographics that vote the most consistently and in large numbers are whites, citizens over the age of 65, and citizens with incomes of $75,000. And let’s face it, this demographic is typically more conservative. And conservative politicians rarely prioritize the rights of people of color and the issues that affect us.
I'm not standing here preaching that our elected officials will push for policies that will better the country for our people on their own. What I'm saying is that it's a whole lot easier to convince someone who doesn't relentlessly support policies that indirectly hurt minorities than someone who does.
So when faced with two politicians that you are not to fond of, you might as well pick the lesser of two evils. I mean, would you rather have an alright representative or president, or one that will bring forth some serious damage and completely disregard the voices of minorities?
So when you are doubting your voting power, just remember what happened in 2008 and 2012 when people of color actually went to the polls. We can make a difference.
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After the results of the 2008 election, the power of the Black vote is too obvious to ignore. And for democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, rallying support from Black voters is very important for her campaign.
Clinton kicked off her presidential campaign this past weekend on Roosevelt Island in New York. Her speech focused on fixing the economy, closing the wealth gap and working toward gender equality. All of these things, of course, are important issues that must be dealt with.
Check out her speech below.
So my question is to what extent will Clinton address Black issues?
She's spoken about the persisting police brutality against Black men and women as well as the effects of mass incarceration on America's Black population (despite the hand her husband's presidency had in creating our current prison system). In fact, in April, Clinton delivered a keynote speech at Columbia University speaking out about these issues.
Even though she's knowledgeable of these issues, I'm afraid that she won't properly address them during her campaign. Let's face it — even though we have power in numbers at the polls, our issues are rarely a top priority in this country.
I think Clinton and other democratic candidates will sprinkle our issues into their campaign to gain our votes. However, once in office, will real change stem from them?
What should we expect from candidates such as Hillary Clinton? Is it enough to ask that they simply show that they are on our side and that they are down for the cause? Or should we demand that they plan to take federal action in order to bring forth real change for our people? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Will you be voting for Hillary?
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Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for 2016 Presidential election cycle, has been garnering a wave of endorsements from Black artists recently. About two weeks ago news spread of Beyoncé attending a Clinton fundraiser in Manhattan. We can count a number of others who have likewise expressed support for Clinton, including 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule and even Clinton’s brief presidential opponent, Waka Flocka Flame. Jimmy Fallon made note of this by writing a thank you note to Clinton on The Tonight Show for her slew of rappers’ endorsements. But by Tuesday, Hillary hit up Twitter to show her appreciation to Fallon with a remixed rendition of a classic rap group’s logo.
“RUN HRC” was a chance for Clinton to one-up Fallon’s “Ghostface Hillah.” Was Clinton successful? It’s hard to tell because I’m still trying to make sense of the latest workings of cultural appropriation for presidential pop-culture points.
Make no mistake, celebrity endorsements can act as a source of major social capital during election season, especially for younger voters. If not as a sort of compass, celebrities’ particular alliances and actions can, at the very least, serve as catalysts for conversations. Even if we weren’t yet old enough to vote, many of us still remember Diddy’s “Vote or Die” campaign during the 2004 presidential election, which saw an increase of almost 4.6 million voters in the 18-29 age group in comparison to the 2000 election. And this past Friday Janet Mock’s latest So POPular! clique took up Bey’s Clinton endorsement as a moment to highlight Clinton’s contentious relationship with Black women voters and the potential for Bey to assuage some of our reservations.
But are Bey’s and Snoop’s respective endorsements enough to give Clinton a pass? Is this just a simple RUN DMC reference or is she capitalizing on our cultural cool without accountability to issues that uniquely affect us?
Her announcement to begin her campaign for the White House on April 12th was met with as much support as shade. As the #Hillary2016 campaign trended, so did the memes, the best of which included a “Ready for Hillary [Banks] 2016” banner and the photo of the Black girl most unamused by Clinton’s presence.
But the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton among black voters is inextricably linked to her and her husband's actions. Bill would have the gall to play the saxophone in shades on the Arsenio Hall Show, only to implement policies like redirecting $1 billion of state spending meant for higher education to building prisons, in addition to his push for harsh sentencing. Hillary echoed similar sentiments during her tenure as FLOTUS and as a New York state senator, calling for more police and support for the three-strikes sentencing. These kinds of policies created the contemporary prison industrial complex, one that many millennial voters want dismantled, as evidenced by the recent #WhatWeNeed2016 twitter campaign.
Who could forget the Clintons’ weaponization of their whiteness during the 2008 Democratic primaries? As Obama came to align himself with the civil rights dreams of MLK, Hillary was quick to note LBJ was the real seed for change because he happened to have passed the legislation. A classic symptom of White savior syndrome. Bill was also caught with his foot in his mouth during that campaign trail. The proverbial first Black president explained his wife’s lack of support from African-American voters as simply Black people backing the first Black person with a chance for his old residence. We weren’t regarded as being complex enough to actually find Obama’s policies and orientation better than those of his partner. In both cases, the Clintons patronized black voters as either unable to realize our own dreams or incapable of voting for our best interests, according to people who are not a part of our community and whose actions have contributed to its destruction.
So while I’m sure the Clinton campaign strategists are excited about her recent hip-hop boost, is that going to redirected toward the struggles many of those same artists discussed in their own music, struggles that Clinton had a direct hand in creating, if not exacerbating?
We are not just swagger to be exchanged. We are people standing eye to eye with a future we are trying to imagine anew in this country as it continues to imagine itself through our erasure. If Clinton wants to begin sincerely courting us for more than celebrity support, she must be willing to love us and our issues as much as she loves our musical legacies. She cannot bank on us having her back if she does not have ours. Our voting block, particularly Black women, have the potential to guarantee Hillary a victory. But she has to earn it, which will take more than rebranding through clever tweets.
I look forward to the moment her affiliation with my community extends beyond mere logos. For the sake of her campaign, I hope she does, too.
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