Monday, June 15, 2015

Ready for Answers

"The incoming president will have to address an open and passionate national movement around anti-black state violence. The most loyal and consistent Democratic support base is marching in the streets and organizing in hopes of dying less and no longer being sent to prison for minor crimes. The state violence in question is directly related to policies that President Bill Clinton enacted during his tenure, especially under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which ended inmate education while building more prisons. This is the same tenure that Secretary Clinton is highly credited for shepherding. The color-blind future we were promised then, as a cover for anti-black policies, is not even close to coming true. Can the constituency that has routinely saved and supported the Democratic Party—Black voters—survive another Clinton turn? Especially considering that Hillary Clinton’s reflections on the havoc the previous Clinton presidency rained on that constituency barely go further than “oops, my bad, vote for me anyway”?
A presumed candidate since her defeat in the primaries, and ordained the frontrunner as early as November, Clinton has had time to work on issues of race and has chosen not to. White feminism as a whole has made the same mistake. That an experienced stateswoman is campaigning on the basis of her entitlement to the position and symbolic value is deeply strange. It also shows the gap between the candidates we have, the ones we think will win, and the ones we want. This is exemplified by the constant refusal to believe Elizabeth Warren or Michelle Obama when they say they do not want to run. That their imaginary campaigns are constantly positioned against the very real Clinton campaign seems to be a roundabout way of admitting that the symbolic woman we have is not giving us the politics we hoped for.
- "I'm Not Ready" by Sydette Harris, The New Inquiry

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