The 2016 DNC Presidential Convention came off well. Great speakers delivered powerful messages. While some may disagree with the message, or interpretation of history that was offered, if the goal was to present a message of inclusiveness and confidence for the present, with hope and a unified purpose and plan for the future, it accomplished its mission for the targeted demographic categories.
Giving the devil her due, Hillary Clinton, pieced together an effective team that developed, implemented and competently executed a successful strategy and won the party nomination.
The “Mothers of the Movement” were there. This is a group of women who have had the misfortune of being the mother of a son or daughter who died an untimely death. Some died at the hands of law enforcement officers, some died by their own hand, and some may have died because of poor health. My meager online effort to research their backgrounds leads me to believe that for the most part these are God fearing, church going women doing their best to raise their kids in environments that are difficult at best. One of them, Lucia McBath said: “We’re going to keep building a future where police officers and communities of color work together in mutual respect to keep children, like Jordan (her son), safe. Because the majority of police officers are good people doing a good job.” Her son, Jordan Davis was killed by a psychotic with a gun, not a police officer.
On the other hand, in the lead up to the DNC, their part was billed as a discussion of “the poverty and structural racism underlying police brutality and gun violence,” and that these things constitute a “national crisis.”
Mrs. Clinton’s lobbyists with the press did their job well. No one noticed the difference. Well, no one reported it.
I didn’t watch the conventions but I read the transcripts of the Mother’s presentations and watched some of the videos. Even though the hype was that these Mothers are advocating action against “gun violence” and “police brutality,” there was no mention of “police killings,” “police murders,” or the “nationwide epidemic of police violence” or complaints about “institutional racism” or “mass incarcerations.” Somehow, while terminology like “structural racism” may be in the day to day vocabulary of Mrs. Clinton’s Yalie brethren, it seemed foreign to the ladies who spoke. While, undoubtedly ghostwritten or coached, the statements spoken by the ladies on state, came across as heart felt and sincere.
I’m thankful they were given a forum to express their views and fears, and share the pain they experience with the fathers, brothers, sisters, wives and girlfriends of their dead sons. It was obvious that each of the three Mothers who spoke, and the others as well, fought back the tears of their grief. While perhaps not obvious to many, if they are still feeling anger, which I think would be normal, they didn’t share it.
I have faith in their good will and good intentions.
I don’t have the same faith in Mrs. Clinton and the Yalies.
All politicians in an American style democracy are subject to the demands of the electorate. Some try to lead; some go with the flow.
I don’t see Mrs. Clinton leading on the issue of criminal justice reform.
She has demonstrated a chameleon like ability to change colors (not speaking of skin) it so benefited her. There are examples of this. In 2002, she voted to give George W. Bush the option of going to war against Iraq. In 2004, when the good people of Iraq couldn’t walk down the street to the corner grocery store for fear of her being disassembled by a car bomb, she said, “Those people need to stand up and take back their country.” When she said this, Al Qaeda was decorating the internet with videos of beheaded infidels. It was easier to blame the victims of an ill planned, ill resourced and otherwise failed American military effort than own up to being bamboozled by Big Dick Cheney, Don “The Rummy” Rumsfeld and George Tenet, Director of the CIA—a Man Who Never Certified a Lie as the Truth If It Wasn’t.
On the specific issue of criminal justice reform, she recently apologized for campaigning for 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That law created longer mandatory sentences, reclassified less serious federal crimes as felonies and put tens of thousands more police officers on the streets. She confessed her sins and asked forgiveness, but this was and is a federal law, not a state, and it is not normally enforced by police officers. Most of the truly egregious abuses of prosecutorial discretion, that I’ve seen or read about, occurred at the local level with state laws. She apparently tried to explain that most of the truly evil doers of the 80’s and 90’s were victimizing minority communities and needed to be locked up for the good of the community and county, but then rolled over in the face of more articulate and forceful if less accurate arguments. Suddenly, the grieving mothers produced by record breaking numbers and rates of murders in America’s larger cities didn’t count.
I think the underlying problem here is that the younger, less experienced Mrs. Clinton didn’t have a grasp of the problems of the time but felt a need to make a dynamic statement. Which she did. But, the flavor of the day has changed.
One problem with the laws she promoted for her husband, was that there was no plan for rehabilitation of the incarcerated or addressing the needs of the communities that the arrested criminals were taken from. You can’t simply lock these people up for a decade or two or more and expect them to function when you release them.
Another problem, though obviously not anticipated or recognized as such, was that those extra police we hired did their jobs, they investigated crimes, collected evidence, arrested the suspects, testified in court, and then repeated as necessary. Street crimes, street corner drug dealers and street gangs shooting up neighborhoods, weren’t plaguing middle and upper income communities, they were plaguing lower income communities in South Los Angeles or Compton, California, South Chicago, Brooklyn, the Bronx, parts of Boston, Southeast Washington, D.C., Kansas City, East Saint Louis and countless other locations across America. Many of these areas have a heavy concentration of African Americans who somehow got left out of the Great Society.
The police officers weren’t targeting blacks; they were targeting criminals who happened to be misbehaving in black communities.
Today, Mrs. Clinton needs votes that those Mothers can bring.
Undoubtedly, their pain is still acute and they still struggle daily to escape it. Some of them have gone through life working hard low paying jobs to support their families, perhaps scrubbing toilets and washing floors or waitressing, but attending church on Sundays and praying for God’s hope and guidance that never came and for the future of their children. They were abused and taken advantage of by sleazy municipal and county officials who saw them only as a source of revenue and as objects of scorn and when their child died an untimely death he or she and they themselves are vilified in the press and electronic media as somehow deserving what has happened to them. At night they cried themselves to sleep and asked “what did I do wrong?” “What could I have done differently?” and beseech their God and Pastor for answers that either didn’t come or didn’t help the pain.
Into this mosh pit of pain, ventured the Clinton Campaign in their unholy crusade for the next vote. Come, they say, raise up your eyes to her holiness, Mrs. Clinton is the one, the savior who will bring you salvation from the pain, poverty and misery of your lives.
These are poor people. The DNC bought them nice dresses, sent them to a hair dresser and professional makeup artists and got them all gussied up and ready for the prom.
Today, they are important but I fear that someday, after the election, no one will return their calls. They’ll try a few times, suspecting in the back of their mind that they may have been duped but hoping against all odds that it just ain’t so, and then the phone number of their trusted Clinton operative will be disconnected.
The trashy, bigoted municipal and county administrators will remain in office. The small police departments will still have unfunded training budgets, and the states will still have professional law enforcement standard commissions with no funding to implement training or policy advances.
High crime areas may cease to be called high crime, but the crime and the fertile conditions that promote it will remain.
Many kids will still go to school hungry in the morning and, if lucky, make do with a sugary soda at lunch. Shops classes in local education districts will still go unfunded and supervised after school programs will still be non-existent in most needy jurisdictions. Summer programs for kids will remain unfunded. Classes in general will be overcrowded and underfunded.
In few if any of these lower income areas will you find the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts or YMCA or even the Boys and Girls Clubs of America because is no money for these efforts.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the only volunteers to coach Little League baseball, soccer or Pop Warner football in those areas are actually the police themselves.
And, of course, most K–6 School teachers will still be paying out of pocket for classroom supplies.
Even if Mrs. Clinton is able to push through some sort of “free tuition” for college students, high school grads or drop outs that can’t read or write or do simple math won’t be able to use it, and I can’t see many of the women in similar circumstances among the multitudes of Yalies and fellow travelers that will compose her cabinet or other appointments
Love having flown with the casting of the ballots, Mrs. Clinton will peel these Mothers off of her political phallus like used condoms and flush them down the toilet with all of the other used condoms and their pain will remain everlasting.
Hopefully most, if not all of them, have a good support group of church family and biological family to help them over that bump.
It would have been nice if the mothers or wives of police officers, shot dead in the streets in the performance of their duties by psychotic haters seeking to kill police offices.
I don’t think the Mothers would have objected, in fact, based on my observations of them, they would have probably welcomed them.
But then, according to the folks running Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, the police are the problem.
Anger begets votes.