In the United States’ Democratic Primaries and Caucuses, one would often hear that Hillary Clinton (wife of former republican-leaning Democratic President Bill Clinton) has always been around the African American community. And Bernie Sanders (a liberal Jew) has not. So goes the allegation. Or the myth. Part of this is rooted in fables and the rest in a strange perception of what Blackness even means in America.
Some supporters of Bill Clinton, mostly the elderly in the African American community allege that Bill, the worst president on Black issues in recent history, played the saxophone, not even well (I can play that instrument on any day better than Bill, and I am not even good), and that Bill was the first Black president because of it. Apparently, this branding, from the day Bill touched that saxophone, has become ingrained in a significant voting bloc of the Black consciousness in America. Among African American women especially, you cannot speak ill of Bill, and of course, of Hillary.
In some states, Hillary Clinton, who has called Black children animals [super-predators], has collected more than 95 percent of the Black vote and burning Bernie Sanders’ campaign beyond recognition. The older African American population, who seem to have escaped most of the Clintons’ drug war, which was actually a war on Blacks – in a bid to re-enslave Black labor into a wider, more legal slave plantation called the prison system – accord this couple an unconditional love beyond comprehension. They see Bill and Hillary as family. Really.
Many pundits from around the world have difficulty understanding the impetus behind this seeming love towards the Clintons in the Black community. Some African American intellectuals including but not limited to Michelle Alexander, Cornel West, Ben Jealous, Killer Mike and Spike Lee are at a loss for an explanation. Is it perhaps a result of the incessant abuse from the criminal justice system? Or is it the result of an intentionally fashioned low information seeping into Black neighborhoods? Is it because Black leaders have sold out to the Clintons? Whatever the reasons might be, Malcolm X’s thoughts of the older generation even in his day come quickly to mind:
“The House Negro identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, “We have good food,” the house Negro would say, “Yes, we have plenty of good food.” “We” have plenty of good food. When the master said that “we have a fine home here,” the house Negro said, “Yes, we have a fine home here.” When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, “What’s the matter boss, we sick?” His master’s pain was his pain. And it hurt him more for his master to be sick than for him to be sick himself. When the house started burning down, that type of Negro would fight harder to put the master’s house out than the master himself would.”
No matter how much fire Bernie sets to the Clintons’ House, many voting House Negros in America have been busy putting out the fire! Why? Beats not only the reputable African American intellectuals who have watched this election cycle with utter dismay but almost every single group around the world that cares more about the plight of the African American youth in the hands of another Master Clinton seems more perplexed than the parents of these children who are voting for Master Hillary Clinton.
Many young Black men and women have implored their parents to vote for Bernie Sanders. Many have even deployed uncles and aunties to speak to an older generation. All to no avail.
What’s worse, the parent generation of African American youth, together with a multitude of single Black women, have turned into yet Malcom X’s ‘another-kind of Black man on the scene’. “If you say you’re in trouble, he says, “Yes, you’re in trouble.” He doesn’t identify himself with your plight whatsoever,” explains Malcolm X.
In an age where more than a third of Black men in America would see the four walls of a jail cell before 35, it is unfathomable that the parents of these Black men, would troop to the bandwagons of the Master Clinton campaign. Why? Because Bill Clinton played the saxophone, once, and not even well. In an age where the Black family has been decimated by the Clintons’ 1994 Crime Bill and Black wealth has dipped far below 1960 levels, it is well-nigh impossible to comprehend the love for the Clintons by older African Americans.
Nevertheless, once again, like Malcolm X would put it: No matter how much fire Bernie and his intellectual African American entourage set to Master Clintons’ House, many voting House Negros in America are busy putting out the fire. Hopefully the fire roars past the shower. But I doubt it.