Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Editorial was in the Trentonian Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008
THE REAL BILL CLINTON/ NO FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT
By Daryl Mikell Brooks
William Jefferson Bill Clinton. A stand up guy. Right? After all, he does play the saxophone. Why would one look further than that? The mainstream media has got it all covered.... Or do they?
All too often the American people are spoon fed opinions by that same mainstream media. This causes the people to have flawed impressions of public and other noteworthy figures. Such is the case with former president Bill Clinton.
While what most people might remember about Mr. Clinton’s shady past is the Monica Lewinsky fiasco, there is much more than meets the eye. Here is a short list to refresh our memory:
Bill Clinton’s recent attack on Barack Obama and his presidential campaign, which many people consider racially charged, referring to Obama as a kid, and his campaign as a fairy tale.
1992 - During the presidential campaign, then-Gov. Clinton flew home to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Rickey Ray Rector, a 40-year-old black man convicted of killing a black police officer. After shooting the cop, Rector shot himself in the head, surviving but severely damaging his brain. Though shown to be mentally incompetent, Clinton allowed Rector's execution to proceed. In the final days of his presidency, Clinton would indeed commute one death sentence, but the Rector execution was later used in the '92 campaign to show how "tough on crime" Clinton was.
The 1994 crime bill contributed to the massive incarceration boom. According to the Department of Justice, under Clinton, the U.S. prison population swelled to nearly 2 million--with Blacks being the main victims. This bill introduced the ¡°three strikes and you re out law, and stiffened sentences for drug offenders. Clinton further stiffened the drug laws for those living in housing projects to one strike, using the lame justification that, ¡°public housing is a privilege; abuse it and you re out.
The incarceration rate for Blacks increased from about 3,000 per 100,000 to 3,620 per 100,000 during his administration; that’s from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3.
Considering the aforementioned bill, that he did nothing about mandatory minimum sentences is no surprise; that he did nothing to change the disparity between sentences for crack and powder cocaine is no surprise; that he stumped for restrictions on habeas corpus, and expansion of the death penalty are no surprise.
Clinton not only refused to intervene in over 1 million people being hacked to death in Rwanda, but even declined to convene his cabinet discuss the crisis.
Too many burnt bridges for the so-called "black president."
Whether or not Guinier was the right nominee, regardless of the circumstances in the Rector case and aside from welfare reform politics, Clinton, in each case, sold blacks down the river - and without giving us a paddle. And we still love him so much.
But, at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton expected blacks to line up right behind him. And many did. And what happened to the apology for slavery he wanted so much? He left that issue on the political chopping block after wrangling from the opposition. So, blacks continue to sacrifice themselves for Clinton while he sacrifices us in the process?
Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
It’s quite amazing that Hillary Clinton would so confidently parade her husband around, as if he has the kind of record one should be proud of. One would think, considering the above, she would rather wish him stay as far away as possible. But perhaps she understands what the mainstream media understands.
Author and social commentator Michael Eric Dyson, a professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago, sums up a more accurate portrait of Clinton and his "bond" with blacks.
"Bill Clinton exploited us like no president before him," he said. "He exploited black sentiment because he knew the rituals of black culture."
Well, shouldn't he? After all, he is "one of us."