By now, you’ve likely heard about the interaction between Hillary Clinton and Black Lives Matter advocates that took place over the weekend. The advocates rightly questioned Clinton on her support (and her husband’s implementation) of policies that led to the mass incarceration of more black men than ever lived under slavery in this country in what has become the prison-industrial complex’s near-final solution to the natural outputs of centuries of systemic racism and injustice as praxis.
While Bill and Hillary Clinton gained political capital through their expertly cynical navigation of the so-called third way New Democrat ethos (a tough, Nixonesque liberalism that seldom met a Republican proposal it didn’t like, consume, and implement), hedge fund managers gleaned more concrete riches from the transformation of America’s penal system into a network of privately held plantations.
Some, like George Zoley, give to Republican causes and candidates (Marco Rubio is a Zoley favorite). Others, like Jeremy Mindich, masquerade as progressives. $32,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee? Another $32,400 to the DNC Services Corp? He even supports ActBlue. (Credit to this piece at Vice for concisely connecting these dots. Click through to learn how you, too, are probably investing in for-profit prisons without even knowing it).
For Americans living in poverty, the Clintons’ 90s were a race to mandatory sentencing, three-strikes-you’re-out law and order. For the Clintons themselves, not so much. Hillary Clinton is so far above the strictures of law, she saw fit to keep state secrets on private email servers, shielding them, perhaps, from the prying eyes of our first Black president, a man she necessarily and clearly resents, all the while risking national security because she simply couldn’t be bothered to do otherwise. Is it any wonder China reads the email of top US officials the way Ted Cruz reads The Drudge Report?
In good 90s fashion, the irony of the Clintons’ role building up the prison industrial complex is staggering. So too Hillary’s detachment, encountering the Black Lives Matter movement with the same wonder with which George H. W. Bush scanned his first campaign-trail groceries. Three weeks to speak out on Ferguson. That’s apparently how long it takes to convene a focus group. How about a grand jury?