Michelle Alexander in The Nation argues that with the Clintons’ desire to be the standard-bearer for the New Democrats, Hillary Clinton abandoned her support of African Americans.
The New Democrats “firmly believed the only way to win back the millions of white voters in the South who had defected to the Republican Party was to adopt the right-wing narrative that black communities ought to be disciplined with harsh punishment rather than coddled with welfare. Reagan had won the presidency by dog-whistling to poor and working-class whites with coded racial appeals: railing against ‘welfare queens’ and criminal ‘predators’ and condemning ‘big government.’ Clinton aimed to win them back, vowing that he would never permit any Republican to be perceived as tougher on crime than he.””
Hillary “wielded power and significant influence once [Clinton] was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. ‘They are not just gangs of kids anymore,’ she said. ‘They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
Hillary says she supports criminal-justice reforms to undo some of the damage that was done by her husband’s administration. But on the campaign trail, she continues to invoke the economy and country that Bill Clinton left behind as a legacy she would continue.”