Each incident occurred in South Carolina. Each incident was an example of white supremacy at its most blatant. Each incident was designed to belittle the alleged culprit and to put her in her place. Each incident was a power play with the express objective of emotionally scarring the target and protecting the designated authority figure.
While the expulsion of Ashley Williams from Hillary's high-end fundraiser was accomplished relatively gently, due to the venue and a sensitive audience of the rich, powerful and white, the other incident was effected violently in a high school classroom peopled mainly by poor students of color. The fundraiser ejection occurred in a milieu whose inhabitants are used to being coddled and given an outsize voice. No expensive furniture was overturned or otherwise damaged. The school ejection occurred in a milieu which is authoritarian and oppressive by its very nature, where docility and silence are expected from the audience, where both the plastic furniture and the bodies are expendable.
When Ashley Williams interrupted Clinton, demanding that she apologize for having once called black youths "superpredators," all it took for the security detail to spring into action was Hillary's own reaction to the protester. When Hillary made it abundantly clear to her armed guards that she was miffed and uncomfortable, her questioner was escorted out (despite having paid the $500 price of access to the candidate). The audience immediately sided not with the evictee, but with the most powerful woman in the room. They all breathed a sigh of relief, showing class and racial solidarity with the powerful woman who was there to listen to their express concerns. "Okay, back to the issues," barked Clinton. Or should I say, "dog-whistled Clinton?"
When the South Carolina student refused to stop talking on her cell phone last October, the school cop upended her desk and body-slammed her to the floor before dragging her out of the room. That audience did not cheer or sigh in relief. Not at all. They were in shocked disbelief. One of them later would later share cell phone video of the incident with the whole world.
Racism in schools and the existence of the school-to-prison pipeline has long been a reality accepted by most people with eyes, ears and brains. Racism at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, however, was more than a little eyebrow-raising, given that the candidate is running as a champion of black people, and is even said to possess a magical Firewall in states and counties with majority black populations.
The whole impetus of the fundraiser protest was an old speech that the then-First Lady gave while lobbying for the infamous crime bill which has sent record numbers of black people to prison over the last two decades. The video of the confrontation is now going as"viral" as the previous South Carolina incident, and right on the eve of the South Carolina primary. Hillary Clinton is still expected to win it handily. This is due to the special bond that she and Bill have always enjoyed with black voters (or more accurately, the special bond they have elicited from the black political establishment.) It will be interesting to see whether the final tally reveals any breakdown between older and younger black voters. It will be interesting to see whether voters declare their emancipation from the Clinton Protection Racket and the younger generation goes for Bernie Sanders's inclusive platform of social, economic and racial justice.
Hillary and Bill have always been dog-whistling, if not outright, racists. Before Bill, as primary presidential candidate and Arkansas governor, executed a brain-damaged black man named Ricky Ray Rector in order to give himself an electoral boost with the law-and-order crowd of Reagan Democrats, before he played golf at a segregated country club and then claimed it wasn't really segregated because it employed black people as waiters and caddies, before his rebuke of Sistah Souljah over rap lyrics, Bill used convict slave labor at the governor's mansion. He allowed the Confederate flag to fly high above the state capitol.
And Hillary was just fine with that, despite her current boasts of "fighting for" the rights of black children under her erstwhile mentor, Marion Wright Edelman. (As has been widely reported, the Edelmans broke with the Clintons 20 years ago, when the First Couple championed passage of welfare "reform," and sent millions of mothers and children into outright poverty at the stroke of a triangulating pen.)
I wrote about Hillary's adventures with her black slave convicts in a previous post, quoting directly from her own book, "It Takes a Village". She wrote her neoliberal polemic on the care and treatment of children at about the same time that she made her "super-predator" speech. It dog-whistles its racism right on the front cover, which shows three white children standing nearly at a level with the great lady herself. The much shorter, token black child in the picture has the entire bottom part of his or her face cut off. It's impossible to tell the race or ethnicity of the fifth child.
Clinton's opinions on child-rearing and behavior are based partly upon her personal experience directing the unpaid labor of her black prisoners. Although she was careful to repudiate "The Bell Curve" eugenics theory of race and intelligence then in vogue, she didn't entirely rule out biology-as-destiny as a factor in black crime, either. She did what the Clintons have always done best. She triangulated. She professed surface sympathy for black youths at the same time that she blamed them and their parents for their own behavior. Never did she blame wealth inequality or white racism. "It Takes a Village" was, in fact, a not very subtle dog-whistle to liberal white racists.
A 1995 pop psychology book by Daniel Goleman called "Emotional Intelligence" provided the intellectual basis for her theories on young black offenders who "need to be brought to heel." Their problem, she theorized, is that they are unable to integrate their rational brains with their emotional brains.
The power of emotion is equally dangerous if it is not harnessed to reason. People who cannot control their emotions are often prone to impulsive overreaction. They may be quick to perceive threats and slights even when none are intended, and to respond with violence. They are in Goleman's phrase, "emotional illiterates." Many of the gang members interviewed as part of a recent study released by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate the illegal use of firearms fit this profile. More than one in three said they believe it is acceptable to shoot someone who "disses" them -- shows them disrespect.So many dog-whistles in just one little paragraph. Leave aside that Clinton quotes the uber-racist Janet Reno's alleged study -- Clinton absolutely does equate gang members with vicious dogs which must be brought to heel. I imagine that one out of every three pit bulls also tends to overreact when its personal space is violated. What Hillary is essentially claiming is that black youths are biologically violent, due both to their untrained emotional brains, and their underdeveloped rational brains.
She then liberally allows that early experience also plays a role in the neurobiological basis for black youth crime.
Some experts speculate that the brains of emotional illiterates are hard-wired early on by stressful experiences that inhibit these mechanisms and leave people prey to "emotional hijacking" ever after. Most of us don't habitually react with impulsive violence, but most of us "blow our tops" from time to time.This paragraph is another dog-whistle: blame the epidemic of black youth crime on Reagan's welfare queens. The Clintons' solution? Reduce the welfare rolls by 60 percent by the time they leave office and force poor mothers to virtually abandon their infants. This abandonment will supposedly save the children from all that bad mothering and mental abuse and brain pathology. Hillary lectures on:
Most people learn how to avoid emotional hijackings from the time they are infants. If they have supportive and caring adults around them, they pick up the social cues that enable them to develop self-discipline and empathy.Hillary's glib solution to the alleged epidemic of bad black mothering and her goal to "bring civility our streets" is to teach children empathy in the classroom. Even when black people become adults, she boasted, it's never too late for white people to teach them how to behave, whether it be in the workplace or in the prison. She should know. She was a virtual schoolmarm to her own Arkansan black slave convicts back in the day:
The structure imposed by the responsibilities of work and the enlightened assistance of concerned people in the prison system and at the governor's mansion helped those onetime murderers I knew in Arkansas to achieve a greater understanding and control over their feelings and behavior.Hillary Clinton makes right-wing New York Times columnist and "black culture" concern-trolling expert Ross Douthat seem like a raging progressive.
I'll say it again. Once a Goldwater Girl, always a Goldwater Girl. It's ironic that a woman professing to be such an expert on "emotional intelligence" resides in a plutocratic bubble so largely devoid of it that she sees no problem in accepting millions of dollars from the same banks that have evicted thousands of black and poor subprime mortgagors from their homes while also engaging in a long-standing policy of racist real estate red-lining.
In any event, the emotional intelligence theory also has its own dark side. The teaching of it can actually enable some bad people to hide their own natures more effectively. One of the main talents of psychopaths is to project a glib, slick set of of emotions that they don't inherently possess. If emotional intelligence can be acquired, it can also be used to fool people. I suppose we should be grateful that Hillary has not yet mastered this "I feel your pain" art as well as her husband. Most people do not trust her, and with very good reason.
If the pundits are right, the next presidential contest will be between two unabashed racists. That one of them has a flimsy, damaged filter, and the other (Trump) has no filter at all, is moot. If either one of them is elected, unabashed fascism will remain a feature, not a bug, in the Feudal States of America.
Hillary Clinton is again trying to do damage control, issuing a written apology for her super-predator comments. "I shouldn't have used those words, and I wouldn't use them today," she told The Washington Post. She didn't say anything about retracting claims made in her first memoir, however. Maybe somebody will read it, and confront her on her characterization of black youths as "emotional illiterates."
Ms. Williams is still awaiting an apology from Clinton, both for her racist remarks "pathologizing black youth as these criminal, animal people" and for having her evicted from a function which she had paid to attend.