That sound of crickets chirping is becoming louder and louder by the day.
Last week during a stop on her book tour, former Secretary of State and presumed 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton went mute when two reporters asked her about the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s been almost three weeks since an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown was murdered by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. That murder set off a colossal overreaction to protesters by Missouri police forces who were able to live out their military fantasies by using tanks and tear gas on the citizens of the largely black St. Louis suburb.
Let’s do away with the suspense, Hillary Clinton is running for President so it is no surprise that she is deploying a tactic that all moderate Democrats deploy when they are seeking office, “Don’t piss off moderate and or independent whites.” Clinton and her team much like Barack Obama and his team in 2008 just assume that black and brown people will show up to the polls and pull the lever for them, which provides no reason for her to speak to the very issues that plague our communities every day.
Throw out all of the facts and statistics you want. The fact that Brown was unarmed during his altercation with Wilson, the fact that the St. Louis County police department behaved like Hitler’s troops in Nazi Germany with it’s use of excessive force, or The fact that America’s inner cities are over policed, highlighted by the terrifying statistic that noted during a recent seven year period white cops killed two black citizens a week. None of those facts and statistics keep politicians like Clinton up at night as much as the idea of a white swing voter pulling the lever for a Republican.
Then again I could be totally wrong on this. Clinton is an unapologetic war hawk who as a Senator voted for the invasion of Iraq and has recently been critical of President Obama for not escalating the civil war in Syria by arming rebels. The New Republic’s Peter Beinart has referred to her as “the Israeli Government’s best spokesperson” because she is more of a hardliner than Benjamin Netanyahu. The sight of tanks rolling down residential streets and citizens being blasted with rubber bullets might not have been what she would have prescribed but it’s not a stretch to believe that the rule of law would have been the first thing on her mind while making sure that everything else took a backseat. Mike Brown’s murder and the revoking of his neighbors freedom of speech would have paled in comparison to damaged property. Also keep in mind that Clinton’s spouse did sit in the big chair once, and while he was there he signed into law the largest crime bill in the history of the country. A crime bill that placed more cops in black and brown communities and built more prisons to house the residents of those same communities.
Clinton’s silence on Ferguson is just reason number 1,000 as to why the coronation should be stopped dead in it’s tracks. A lengthy and thorough primary process would be the best thing for progressives everywhere, you know assuming some actual progressives decide to take her on. “When I see things like that, and I see, like, a warzone and I see bazookas and tanks and all of this stuff in an American city it offends me, if you’re standing up and you want to voice dissent, you know it really is what America is all about, is being able to dissent.”
Those weren’t the words of another potential 2016 Democratic candidate, not Maryland Governor Martin O’ Malley or Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Those are the words of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Paul and every other elected official in the country doesn’t get a break for not addressing America’s problem with cops killing people of color, but sometimes you have to give the devil his due and thus far Paul has been the only auditioner who has condemned the police overreaction in Ferguson.
Minorities and other people who don’t reside within America’s power structure should always use the most powerful democratic tool they have which is their vote, that said they should no longer feel like they have to use that vote on a candidate that only represents the lesser of two evils. A true–and I stress the word true–progressive candidate from Hillary’s left should be the people’s choice in 2016, the fact that there isn’t much of a difference between her and whoever the Republicans nominate justifies that thinking.