TOUGH AS A NAIL ON RUSSIA - TRUMP

"Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia is positive not a negative. Now, with that being said if that doesn’t work out I'll be the worst enemy he's ever had – the worst he's ever had." - President Donald John Trump.


IT IS FRANCE: RUSSIA 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP CHAMPION.

IT IS FRANCE: RUSSIA 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP CHAMPION.

ICHEOKU says they did it, deservedly and rightly earned; the boys from Paris. ICHEOKU says congratulations.

KAVANAUGH IS THE ONE: CONGRATULATIONS

KAVANAUGH IS THE ONE: CONGRATULATIONS.

ICHEOKU says he is coming with a clear-eyed view of what the United States of America constitution provides and will not legislate from the bench. ICHEOKU says definitely the right pick, so CONFIRM him now and right away and without any delay or much ado. Congratulation.

DEEP STATE IS REAL.


Lisa Page: “Trump is not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”


Peter Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”


ICHEOKU says if this is not corruption of the worst type, what else so qualifies? So sad the length these guys went to truncate the will of the American people; yet they will turn around and accuse other countries of corruption and you wonder is it only when money exchanges hands that there is corruption. Pitifully SAD.

OBSTRUCTION 101: THE VERDICT.

“The only obstruction President Trump committed was in obstructing Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton from the White House.” - Jesse Watters, Watters World.


PRESIDENT TRUMP: THE PROMISE KEEPER

“The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.” - President Donald John Trump.

ICHEOKU says exactly why he is now fondly nicknamed the Promise Keeper and he keeps his promises, one promise at a time.

NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL IS UNACCEPTABLE.

America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth." - President Donald John Trump.


AG JEFF SESSIONS: WHAT DO THEY HAVE ON HIM?

ICHEOKU says what does the Deep State have on AG Jeff Sessions that has purchased his quiet and inaction over the excesses of the Russian Collusion witch hunt? Something definitely does not look right and apparently seems awry that the Attorney General appears so constricted to do anything to bring the never ending "investigation" to a conclusion. How much longer will the American people wait to have the matter concluded and what will it take. As a member of Team MAGA, from the basket of deplorables, who defended him when the president was threatening to fire him, ICHEOKU is not particularly satisfied with the "playing it safe" attitude which Jeff has adopted thus far and urge him to find any possible way to make the investigators finish their job immediately and without any further delay.


TONY ELUMELU: LETS MAKE HIM PRESIDENT.

ICHEOKU says he has all it takes to turn Nigeria around and Make Nigeria Great Again. He is highly cerebral; he is well traveled and is highly exposed internationally; he is a doer with a can-do spirit and attitude which translates to impossible is nothing as it does not exists in his dictionary; he is fully accomplished person who turned around the nearly moribund behemoth UBA and created thousands of jobs both in Nigeria and overseas; and above all, he is youthful and has age on his side and you ask yourself, what else is anyone looking for in a leader for Nigeria that is on bended knees and begging for leadership other than a man with his proven record. If he can do this in the private sector, he can also mission accomplish such in the public sector and resuscitate a Nigeria that is in distress. CHEOKU is emphatic that Tony Elumelu is a highly qualified, fit and proper person to lead Nigeria out of its present woods of near comatose and under performing achievements. Lets go to work Nigerians and make his candidature both viable and achievable. We can do this fellas; so lets urge Tony to run, run Tony run and together lets Make Nigeria Great Again. If Trump can do it, so can Tony.


SYRIA WARNED TO DESIST OR BE BOMBED AGAIN.

"If the Syria regime uses this poisonous gas again on its people, it will be bombed again. The United States of America is locked and loaded. When our president draws a redline, our president enforces the redline." - Nikki Haley, United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations.


VLADIMIR PUTIN: WHENEVER HE IS READY!

VLADIMIR PUTIN: WHENEVER HE IS READY!

ICHEOKU says Russia's Vladimir Putin has one good opportunity to finally move back into the comity of civilized nations and stop his despotic mentality which always sees him flocking amidst his fellow dictators. But if he choses to remain in the cold and remain in Kremlin where he has been holed in since 1999, too bad. His too long stay in power is only damaging Russia but not helping it; and gradually turning Russia into a third world country where only one man dictates what goes on in the country. Putin, change your ways; let true democracy reign in Russia. Salute

JOHN BOLTON: THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER.

JOHN BOLTON: THE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER.

ICHEOKU says you cannot get a more American American and he is a hardcore America First nationalist as they come. President Donald John Trump's pick to succeeded fired National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is the real deal. He is a hard-nosed American First protagonist, who does not shy away from projecting America's power through strength and who is not afraid to have America go it alone if need be. ICHEOKU says hopefully the president has found the very person who will help him achieve and implement his policy objectives in John Bolton. But as far as MAGA and AF agendas are concerned, Ambassador John Bolton is one heck of a good pick and a right fit for the job. He will help President Donald John Trump with doing his job for the American people. ICHEOKU says congratulations to the Mustachioed One. Let the governance of MAGA now really begin.


A FACEBOOK CENSORED WORLD: LIMITING FREE SPEECH

A FACEBOOK CENSORED WORLD: LIMITING FREE SPEECH

ICHEOKU says they pretend to be guardians of free speech but wants to tele-guide other peoples thinking by limiting what they can freely say; especially if you are a conservative and holds opinions which are favorable of President Donald John Trump and critical of Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, they will not succeed but can only force people to opt out of the live wasting exercise of gluing one's eyeballs to the platform. An exercise which does not add anything of value to users, nor pays them anything for helping them bring more eyeballs to the portal. Instead of being grateful that people are helping them bilk advertisers of billions of dollars with their riveted eyeballs, they now want to micromanage everyone's thought as if they are doing one a favor by letting them waste their time using Facebook. ICHEOKU says will not be cowered nor intimidated; they can block ICHEOKU all the heck they want but ICHEOKU will not bow to Facebook's attempt to control ICHEOKU's thoughts and would rather permanently part ways with the Mark Zuckerberg globalist weapon of mass control than kowtow to a group thinking. To hell with this attempt to exact undue control and turn everyone into a herd mind.


THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION: DEALT A FATAL BLOW.


"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is also no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." - Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States of America.

ICHEOKU says this determination, for every intent and purpose, now lays to rest the "Collusion with the Russians" hogwash; as nobody can be guilty of an offense which requires awareness to ground when he or she is not aware of it. Collusion is a conspiracy and requires a proactive participation coupled with a guilty knowledge to bring about the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, when will the Special Counsel address the nation and tell Americans that there is no there, there, in the Russian Collusion investigation and save America further bleeding both in resources, time and unity. Enough of the sore loser antics of the Democratic Party which does not know how to take a loss and learn to work to fix what went wrong, instead of continuously pointing a finger at a mirage that is the Russian Collusion, in its bid to find something to blame for its ineptitude that led to the epochal loss of November 8th, 2016.

FBI MEMO SCANDAL: OBAMA WAS IN THE LOOP


"POTUS WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING." - Lisa Page to boyfriend Peter Strzok, two FBI officials.


ICHEOKU says the POTUS then was President Barack Hussein Obama, who had previously denied and lied to the American people that he does not dabble into any FBI's investigative matter. Really?


AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

AMERICA IS HERE TO STAY - PDJT

"Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free." - President Donald John Trump.


IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!

IT IS ONE YEAR TODAY, HURRAY!
ICHEOKU says congratulations to President Donald John Trump for successfully steering America's ship of States for a full year. What the naysayers said will not happen is a reality which they are finding extremely difficult to live with. But their preferences notwithstanding, Make America Great Again is on course and nobody will torpedo it. Once again, congratulations to the leader of Team MAGA on the anniversary of his being sworn in as the 45th POTUS.

ICHEOKU'S MAN OF THE YEAR 2017: PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP

ICHEOKU says following an examination of so many nominated individuals, we have determined that this year 2017's man of the year is President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. He came into office shooting on both hips and as the year draws to an end, his both guns are still firing and smoking. For standing up to the world and starring down American detractors and being the cheerleader and champion in chief of America, the leader of Team Make America Great Again has earned ICHEOKU's man of the year award 2017. Congratulations to President Donald John Trump.

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT
ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.

AMERICA STRONG!

"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."


RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE FOUND!

RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE EMERGES!

ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman she is, who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY HILLARY CLINTON

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY CLINTON

ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.


ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.


GLAD TO BE CARRIED TO FULL TERM.

GRATEFUL TO BE CARRIED FULL TERM

ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.
ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.

IPOB: NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION - USA


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

North Korea PUT ON NOTICE

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES A VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.





"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

HILLARY CLINTON, UNDESERVING OF BLACK VOTES - MICHELLE ALEXANDER

Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required. 

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.
And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.
The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.
Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state—many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand.
What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work? 
When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, urban black communities across America were suffering from economic collapse. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs had vanished as factories moved overseas in search of cheaper labor, a new plantation. Globalization and deindustrialization affected workers of all colors but hit African Americans particularly hard. Unemployment rates among young black men had quadrupled as the rate of industrial employment plummeted. Crime rates spiked in inner-city communities that had been dependent on factory jobs, while hopelessness, despair, and crack addiction swept neighborhoods that had once been solidly working-class. Millions of black folks—many of whom had fled Jim Crow segregation in the South with the hope of obtaining decent work in Northern factories—were suddenly trapped in racially segregated, jobless ghettos.
On the campaign trail, Bill Clinton made the economy his top priority and argued persuasively that conservatives were using race to divide the nation and divert attention from the failed economy. In practice, however, he capitulated entirely to the right-wing backlash against the civil-rights movement and embraced former president Ronald Reagan’s agenda on race, crime, welfare, and taxes—ultimately doing more harm to black communities than Reagan ever did.
We should have seen it coming. Back then, Clinton was the standard-bearer for the New Democrats, a group that firmly believed the only way to win back the millions of white voters in the South who had defected to the Republican Party was to adopt the right-wing narrative that black communities ought to be disciplined with harsh punishment rather than coddled with welfare. Reagan had won the presidency by dog-whistling to poor and working-class whites with coded racial appeals: railing against “welfare queens” and criminal “predators” and condemning “big government.” Clinton aimed to win them back, vowing that he would never permit any Republican to be perceived as tougher on crime than he.
Just weeks before the critical New Hampshire primary, Clinton proved his toughness by flying back to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally impaired black man who had so little conception of what was about to happen to him that he asked for the dessert from his last meal to be saved for him for later. After the execution, Clinton remarked, “I can be nicked a lot, but no one can say I’m soft on crime.”
Clinton mastered the art of sending mixed cultural messages, appealing to African Americans by belting out “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in black churches, while at the same time signaling to poor and working-class whites that he was willing to be tougher on black communities than Republicans had been.
Clinton was praised for his no-nonsense, pragmatic approach to racial politics. He won the election and appointed a racially diverse cabinet that “looked like America.” He won re-election four years later, and the American economy rebounded. Democrats cheered. The Democratic Party had been saved. The Clintons won. Guess who lost?
Bill Clinton presided over the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. Clinton did not declare the War on Crime or the War on Drugs—those wars were declared before Reagan was elected and long before crack hit the streets—but he escalated it beyond what many conservatives had imagined possible. He supported the 100-to-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine, which produced staggering racial injustice in sentencing and boosted funding for drug-law enforcement.
Clinton championed the idea of a federal “three strikes” law in his 1994 State of the Union address and, months later, signed a $30 billion crime bill that created dozens of new federal capital crimes, mandated life sentences for some three-time offenders, and authorized more than $16 billion for state prison grants and the expansion of police forces. The legislation was hailed by mainstream-media outlets as a victory for the Democrats, who “were able to wrest the crime issue from the Republicans and make it their own.”
When Clinton left office in 2001, the United States had the highest rate of incarceration in the world. Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, “President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.” 

Some might argue that it’s unfair to judge Hillary Clinton for the policies her husband championed years ago. But Hillary wasn’t picking out china while she was first lady. She bravely broke the mold and redefined that job in ways no woman ever had before. She not only campaigned for Bill; she also wielded power and significant influence once he was elected, lobbying for legislation and other measures. That record, and her statements from that era, should be scrutinized. In her support for the 1994 crime bill, for example, she used racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals. “They are not just gangs of kids anymore,” she said. “They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”
Both Clintons now express regret over the crime bill, and Hillary says she supports criminal-justice reforms to undo some of the damage that was done by her husband’s administration. But on the campaign trail, she continues to invoke the economy and country that Bill Clinton left behind as a legacy she would continue. So what exactly did the Clinton economy look like for black Americans? Taking a hard look at this recent past is about more than just a choice between two candidates. It’s about whether the Democratic Party can finally reckon with what its policies have done to African-American communities, and whether it can redeem itself and rightly earn the loyalty of black voters.
An oft-repeated myth about the Clinton administration is that although it was overly tough on crime back in the 1990s, at least its policies were good for the economy and for black unemployment rates. The truth is more troubling. As unemployment rates sank to historically low levels for white Americans in the 1990s, the jobless rate among black men in their 20s who didn’t have a college degree rose to its highest level ever. This increase in joblessness was propelled by the skyrocketing incarceration rate.
Why is this not common knowledge? Because government statistics like poverty and unemployment rates do not include incarcerated people. As Harvard sociologist Bruce Western explains: “Much of the optimism about declines in racial inequality and the power of the US model of economic growth is misplaced once we account for the invisible poor, behind the walls of America’s prisons and jails.” When Clinton left office in 2001, the true jobless rate for young, non-college-educated black men (including those behind bars) was 42 percent. This figure was never reported. Instead, the media claimed that unemployment rates for African Americans had fallen to record lows, neglecting to mention that this miracle was possible only because incarceration rates were now at record highs. Young black men weren’t looking for work at high rates during the Clinton era because they were now behind bars—out of sight, out of mind, and no longer counted in poverty and unemployment statistics.
To make matters worse, the federal safety net for poor families was torn to shreds by the Clinton administration in its effort to “end welfare as we know it.” In his 1996 State of the Union address, given during his re-election campaign, Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over” and immediately sought to prove it by dismantling the federal welfare system known as Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC). The welfare-reform legislation that he signed—which Hillary Clinton ardently supported then and characterized as a success as recently as 2008—replaced the federal safety net with a block grant to the states, imposed a five-year lifetime limit on welfare assistance, added work requirements, barred undocumented immigrants from licensed professions, and slashed overall public welfare funding by $54 billion (some was later restored).
Experts and pundits disagree about the true impact of welfare reform, but one thing seems clear: Extreme poverty doubled to 1.5 million in the decade and a half after the law was passed. What is extreme poverty? US households are considered to be in extreme poverty if they are surviving on cash incomes of no more than $2 per person per day in any given month. We tend to think of extreme poverty existing in Third World countries, but here in the United States, shocking numbers of people are struggling to survive on less money per month than many families spend in one evening dining out. Currently, the United States, the richest nation on the planet, has one of the highest child-poverty rates in the developed world.
Despite claims that radical changes in crime and welfare policy were driven by a desire to end big government and save taxpayer dollars, the reality is that the Clinton administration didn’t reduce the amount of money devoted to the management of the urban poor; it changed what the funds would be used for. Billions of dollars were slashed from public-housing and child-welfare budgets and transferred to the mass-incarceration machine. By 1996, the penal budget was twice the amount that had been allocated to food stamps. During Clinton’s tenure, funding for public housing was slashed by $17 billion (a reduction of 61 percent), while funding for corrections was boosted by $19 billion (an increase of 171 percent), according to sociologist Loïc Wacquant “effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the urban poor.”
Bill Clinton championed discriminatory laws against formerly incarcerated people that have kept millions of Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and desperation. The Clinton administration eliminated Pell grants for prisoners seeking higher education to prepare for their release, supported laws denying federal financial aid to students with drug convictions, and signed legislation imposing a lifetime ban on welfare and food stamps for anyone convicted of a felony drug offense—an exceptionally harsh provision given the racially biased drug war that was raging in inner cities.
Perhaps most alarming, Clinton also made it easier for public-housing agencies to deny shelter to anyone with any sort of criminal history (even an arrest without conviction) and championed the “one strike and you’re out” initiative, which meant that families could be evicted from public housing because one member (or a guest) had committed even a minor offense. People released from prison with no money, no job, and nowhere to go could no longer return home to their loved ones living in federally assisted housing without placing the entire family at risk of eviction. Purging “the criminal element” from public housing played well on the evening news, but no provisions were made for people and families as they were forced out on the street. By the end of Clinton’s presidency, more than half of working-age African-American men in many large urban areas were saddled with criminal records and subject to legalized discrimination in employment, housing, access to education, and basic public benefits—relegated to a permanent second-class status eerily reminiscent of Jim Crow.
It is difficult to overstate the damage that’s been done. Generations have been lost to the prison system; countless families have been torn apart or rendered homeless; and a school-to-prison pipeline has been born that shuttles young people from their decrepit, underfunded schools to brand-new high-tech prisons.
It didn’t have to be like this. As a nation, we had a choice. Rather than spending billions of dollars constructing a vast new penal system, those billions could have been spent putting young people to work in inner-city communities and investing in their schools so they might have some hope of making the transition from an industrial to a service-based economy. Constructive interventions would have been good not only for African Americans trapped in ghettos, but for blue-collar workers of all colors. At the very least, Democrats could have fought to prevent the further destruction of black communities rather than ratcheting up the wars declared on them.
Of course, it can be said that it’s unfair to criticize the Clintons for punishing black people so harshly, given that many black people were on board with the “get tough” movement too. It is absolutely true that black communities back then were in a state of crisis, and that many black activists and politicians were desperate to get violent offenders off the streets. What is often missed, however, is that most of those black activists and politicians weren’t asking only for toughness. They were also demanding investment in their schools, better housing, jobs programs for young people, economic-stimulus packages, drug treatment on demand, and better access to healthcare. In the end, they wound up with police and prisons. To say that this was what black people wanted is misleading at best.
To be fair, the Clintons now feel bad about how their politics and policies have worked out for black people. Bill says that he “overshot the mark” with his crime policies; and Hillary has put forth a plan to ban racial profiling, eliminate the sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine, and abolish private prisons, among other measures. 
But what about a larger agenda that would not just reverse some of the policies adopted during the Clinton era, but would rebuild the communities decimated by them? If you listen closely here, you’ll notice that Hillary Clinton is still singing the same old tune in a slightly different key. She is arguing that we ought not be seduced by Bernie’s rhetoric because we must be “pragmatic,” “face political realities,” and not get tempted to believe that we can fight for economic justice and win. When politicians start telling you that it is “unrealistic” to support candidates who want to build a movement for greater equality, fair wages, universal healthcare, and an end to corporate control of our political system, it’s probably best to leave the room.
This is not an endorsement for Bernie Sanders, who after all voted for the 1994 crime bill. I also tend to agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates that the way the Sanders campaign handled the question of reparations is one of many signs that Bernie doesn’t quite get what’s at stake in serious dialogues about racial justice. He was wrong to dismiss reparations as “divisive,” as though centuries of slavery, segregation, discrimination, ghettoization, and stigmatization aren’t worthy of any specific acknowledgement or remedy.
But recognizing that Bernie, like Hillary, has blurred vision when it comes to race is not the same thing as saying their views are equally problematic. Sanders opposed the 1996 welfare-reform law. He also opposed bank deregulation and the Iraq War, both of which Hillary supported, and both of which have proved disastrous. In short, there is such a thing as a lesser evil, and Hillary is not it.
The biggest problem with Bernie, in the end, is that he’s running as a Democrat—as a member of a political party that not only capitulated to right-wing demagoguery but is now owned and controlled by a relatively small number of millionaires and billionaires. Yes, Sanders has raised millions from small donors, but should he become president, he would also become part of what he has otherwise derided as “the establishment.” Even if Bernie’s racial-justice views evolve, I hold little hope that a political revolution will occur within the Democratic Party without a sustained outside movement forcing truly transformational change. I am inclined to believe that it would be easier to build a new party than to save the Democratic Party from itself.
Of course, the idea of building a new political party terrifies most progressives, who understandably fear that it would open the door for a right-wing extremist to get elected. So we play the game of lesser evils. This game has gone on for decades. W.E.B. Du Bois, the eminent scholar and co-founder of the NAACP, shocked many when he refused to play along with this game in the 1956 election, defending his refusal to vote on the grounds that “there is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I do or say.” While the true losers and winners of this game are highly predictable, the game of lesser evils makes for great entertainment and can now be viewed 24 hours a day on cable-news networks. Hillary believes that she can win this game in 2016 because this time she’s got us, the black vote, in her back pocket—her lucky card.
She may be surprised to discover that the younger generation no longer wants to play her game. Or maybe not. Maybe we’ll all continue to play along and pretend that we don’t know how it will turn out in the end. Hopefully, one day, we’ll muster the courage to join together in a revolutionary movement with people of all colors who believe that basic human rights and economic, racial, and gender justice are not unreasonable, pie-in-the-sky goals. After decades of getting played, the sleeping giant just might wake up, stretch its limbs, and tell both parties: Game over. Move aside. It’s time to reshuffle this deck.

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