Following the nomination of Hillary Clinton, I think it is worth remembering here the cause of Fannie Lou Hamer. In 1964, Hillary Clinton was campaigning for the Republican Party nominee Barry Goldwater, the candidate of segregationists and hawkish anti-Communists. Clinton’s father was a member of the John Birch Society and always hoped his son-in-law would “support a cut in the capital gains tax”.
What is very valuable here in Hamer’s comments is her discussion of the Voting Rights Act and splitting the vote in the liberal party that was going up against the segregationist party. She says here that she does not care about a recent law because this is a matter about violation of the Constitution. Simultaneous with this Martin Luther King, Jr. was saying “While not himself a racist, Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.” It is also worthwhile to recall here that another Republican a decade before in Little Rock, Arkansas had used federal troops to enforce desegregation, a policy move President Obama could use with regards to voting rights enforcement this year now that the Voting Rights Act has been dismantled.
Let’s now just remember Clinton’s comments about that election:
SCOTT SIMON: I mean, did you ever, back in the ’60s, between when, I believe, you were Goldwater Girl and…
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right.
SIMON: …Whatever you became politically?
CLINTON: That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that’s afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I’m very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl. And then my political beliefs changed over time. But I’ve always thought that the role of citizen, the role of advocate, were as important in our democracy as running for office. And so it’s not anything I’ve ever, you know, seriously considered.
The apologist elements of the press have tried to contextualize and offer reasons for Clinton’s former Republican orientation, arguing that something in her fundamentally changed in between 1964 and 1992. Yet if that were the case, why on earth would she use verbiage like this in order to gain support for the Crime Omnibus Bill that was a cornerstone of the prison-industrial complex?
Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report recently put it best:
Hillary Clinton and her huckster husband, Slick Willie, seem to specialize in bringing harm to Black people. The public record, stretching back many decades, proves they are Class A racists who have destroyed countless Blacks lives in the service of corporate interests and their own private greed.
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