Thursday, May 07, 2015

African-Americans and the US Justice System: political racist rheotric versus reality

"But the premise of both columns is also wrong. Ask any leader in the criminal justice reform movement if they consider Hillary Clinton to be an ally. After a bout of laughter, they’ll likely point out that she criticized Barack Obama in 2008 for his support to reform mandatory minimum laws and to change the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity. They’ll then point out that she not only supported her husband’s tough-on-crime policies that exacerbated the mass incarceration problem, she fought for them. So far, Hillary Clinton has offered up some milquetoast pronouncements about criminal justice reform. She has offered few specific policies, and even the pronouncements have been couched in ways that provide political cover. (For example, she has said that with the money we save by reducing the prison population, we could hire more police officers.)  That pundits writing for prominent media outlets would characterize such middling, non-committal rhetoric as some sort of radical soft-on-crime agenda is more than anything a demonstration of the warped reality in which the political and chattering classes operate. (I suspect age is also a factor. There’s a marked generational split on many of these issues.)"