“When arguing that Clinton played fast and loose with race, you have to grapple with the fact that most African Americans support her. But this essential fact is either ignored or, to be charitable, “creatively” explained.”
In an attempt to defend the Clintons against black scrutiny, Jack relies on the fact that the Clintons receive a majority of the black vote. But this is precisely what Africana studies classes critique. He fails to address the concept of electoral capture, which was central to “Race and Political Context: The “First Black President” Reconsidered” I invite Mr. Landry to challenge the claim that the Clintons used race in negative ways. When I described the “New Democrats”, I proved that it was the agenda for Democrats to distance themselves from minorities. Jack was predictably surprised when I “even claims that Bill Clinton even mastered the art of pandering to both black and white people in the same election!” Instead of addressing how Bill Clinton, a “New Democrat” was ” a centrist candidate more attuned than his immediate predecessors to the concerns and values of the white, middle-class voters who had deserted the party in its losing presidential campaigns in the 1980s.” or how “attacking the liberal fundamentalists, the DLC is signaling to swing voters in the white, middle class that Democrats are not exclusively black, feminist, gay,and liberal.”, Jack recites the dogma of the “New Democrats”. That dogma is, be content and complacent. Don’t worry about the tone or rhetoric of politics.
Party capture is real, and it is quite sad that some subscribe to “faux liberalism which leads one to conclude that throwing your most loyal constituents under the bus is acceptable” And current positives don’t change the past. Being appointed to a senior position by a black president doesn’t mean you didn’t try to associate said president with Hamas. Having Jesse Jackson’s support doesn’t change the fact that he said to Mr. Clinton he could have “with one stroke of your veto pen, to correct the most grievous racial injustice built into our legal system.”, regarding his signing of the 100 to 1 crack cocaine ratio bill. Black scholars such as Michelle Alexander understand that yes, black voters voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, for the Clintons, but that by no means is proof that black scrutiny of them was absent. What is absent from my colleague’s analysis however, is electoral capture, the “New Democrats”, and the racial rhetoric of politicians. He forgets that some voters of all races actually perceive the Democratic Party as the lesser of two evils. For the black voters that understand how the black community was slighted by the Clintons but vote for them regardless, it can be said that they “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” That sin, which is still prevalent in GOP rhetoric regarding immigration(Mr. Trump), is playing with race for political gains. In no way did I imply that the Clintons concocted a racist plan to destroy black people, but I did emphasize the racial-ethical dilemma of a New York Times article that “concludes that the Democratic Party’s association with blacks would be a major liability in elections.” Why doesn’t my colleague discuss this dilemma, or discuss if there even was such a dilemma?
Jack makes the bold claim that most black people saw no race issues with the Clintons, by relying on the fact that black people voted for them. But where does that bring us? Not far when considering the strangle hold the Democratic Party has on the black vote, party capture. Here is what “Omissions” omits: a substantive debunking of what is taught in Africana studies classes, a comprehensive analysis of the complex relationship between Democrats and the black community, and discussion about racial ethics.
To be fair, there is one thing that is not omitted. A double standard. The author appears to be very attuned to how the subtle elements of sexism against Hillary operate, but conveniently, these same mental faculties shut down when it comes to racism. It’s odd how Jack thinks “it’s rather obvious that it’s far easier for a male politician to be authentic and likable”, but has no idea how tying the first black president to the Nation of Islam affects authenticity. Hopefully Brother Malcolm can rise from his grave to cover the wounds that this faux liberalism is bleeding from.