Hillary Clinton and the Battered Black Voter Syndrome

By Larry Elder

October 20, 2016 6 min read

What will it take for Democrats to lose the 95 percent black vote?

Hacked email to and from staffers at the Democratic National Committee and to and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, shows she cares far more about the black vote than black voters.

Concern for lack of diversity: One email, three months before she announced her presidential candidacy, shows Clinton's future campaign staff mocking the criticism that it lacks racial diversity. Her then-spokesperson and future traveling press secretary Nick Merrill dismissively joked that former Bill Clinton chief of staff and future Hillary Clinton campaign director Robby Mook "claims he's 1/16th Apache, so we should be all set."

Earlier this year, "Frank" (identified by WikiLeaks as [email protected], and reported by RT.com to be Frank White Jr., who raised $2.3 million for Barack Obama in 2012) wrote to Podesta about courting black votes: "I'm hearing the same complaint in political circles that I continue to hear while fundraising. 'The campaign doesn't value black folks and takes us for granted.' Can I make a suggestion? A black campaign vice chair or senior advisor would go a long way during the primary and send the message that Hillary puts her actions where her mouth is, and actually does appreciate the black vote." Podesta replied: "Right now I think we should do this right after Super Tuesday."

"Birtherism": Clinton routinely attacks Donald Trump for what she calls the "racist lie" that Obama is a Muslim from Kenya. Yet a 2008 memo between a polling analyst and several people close to Clinton's campaign — including Podesta — listed several "negatives" of her opponent, then-Sen. Obama, included the following: "Obama (owe-BAHM-uh)'s father was a Muslim and Obama grew up among Muslims in the world's most populous Islamic country." Just weeks ago, James Asher, former Washington bureau chief for McClatchy news, stated that during the 2008 campaign long-time Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal told him to investigate Obama's African birthplace: "Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy, where he and I met in my office. During that conversation and in subsequent communications, we discussed a number of matters related to Obama. He encouraged McClatchy to do stories related to Obama and his connections to Kenya."

Ridiculing an "African-American sounding" name: Another DNC email chain shows staffers making fun of the name of a black woman named LaQueenia. Why is this noteworthy?

In recent years some academic experiments purport to show racism by showing how prospective employers discriminate against "African-American sounding names." Never mind the same employers show similar reluctance to hire those with "white-sounding names" like "Emily" and "Todd." And never mind that employers located in black neighborhoods also showed reluctance to hire those with "African-American sounding names." So, if it's "racist" to draw a negative inference from a "black-sounding name," what is it to mock such a name?

Public support for, but private opposition to, $15 minimum wage: Economist and Ronald Reagan adviser Milton Friedman famously called the minimum wage "the most anti-black law on the books." Yet Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee platform support a $15 federal minimum wage, more than double the current federal rate of $7.25. Yet Podesta's email inbox showed Clinton staff and adviser emails refer to and frequently quote prominent left-wing economists and left-wing think tanks that argued against a $15 minimum wage on the grounds that such a spike from the current federal minimum would costs jobs.

Contempt for people of faith: Blacks are more religious than whites. Yet Hillary Clinton staffers' emails show contempt for people of faith. One 2011 email from Clinton's current director of communications, then with the Center for American Progress, denounces Catholicism as being embraced by conservatives who think it's a more socially acceptable religion than others. She wrote: "I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals." She was responding to a co-worker, who wrote: "Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups. It's an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy."

Calling Black Lives Matter a "radical movement": Even the Black Lives Matter movement that Clinton publicly embraces was demeaned in a DNC memo. Last year, a staffer for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent an internal memo to Democratic House candidates, calling Black Lives Matter a "radical movement." The memo said, "Don't offer support for concrete policy positions." It advised avoiding phrases like "all lives matter" and warned candidates not to bring up "black on black crime," since the "response will garner additional media scrutiny and only anger BLM activists."

That Clinton says one thing about blacks while believing something altogether different is no surprise. After all, in the leaked email with excerpts of her Wall Street speeches, she admits having contradictory public and private views.

But, hey, Donald Trump's a bigot.

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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