The Clintons 1994 Crime Bill and Mass Incarceration

Stephen Sposato, whose wife was killed when a gunman invaded the San Francisco law firm where she worked, left, and Marc Klass, whose daughter was kidnapped and killed, right, look on after President Bill Clinton signed the $30 billion crime bill on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Sept. 13, 1994. Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo., and House Speaker Thomas Foley of Washington also look on. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

(Credit: AP/Dennis Cook)


In a article, on May 13, 2016 Ben Norton said, “Bill Clinton continues to defend his 1994 Crime Bill. A bill that fueled racist mass incarceration. Clinton claims his tough on crime policies had good effects, but experts said, Bill and Hillary decimated Black America.” Bill Clinton’s refusal to take responsibility is cause for concern.

Some will say Hillary Clinton was not the president therefore she should not be held responsible. No, she was not the president but she can be held responsible for calling black children super predators. In a Huffington Post article, Steve Drizin said:

Mrs. Clinton promoted the President’s new plan to wage war against street gangs. According to Mrs. Clinton, these gangs, with links to the cartels, are often made up of the kinds of kids that are called super predators who have no conscience, no empathy. She continued by saying, we can talk about how they got that way but we first have to bring them to heel.

Don’t you make dogs heel? According to super predators are defined as “large, strong animals that naturally prey on others.” Certainly name calling is not something to dwell on, after all black people have been called much worse. The problem is how she used the term to define black children to help push the 1994 crime bill into law. If violent crime was the reason for the bill why are so many people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses? On the Sentencing Project’s 2014 fact sheet there were nearly a half million people incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. More than 60% are people of color. For black men in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day. More important, how many children grew up without one or both parents?

For more than twenty years we watched black men, women, and children as they were ushered into a system of mass incarceration as if they were shackled slaves moving from one plantation to another. The prison industry grew so fast, it took on a new name, The Prison Industrial Complex. For more than twenty years the Clintons were silent as if the dismantling of the black family would mend itself with time. Now, they are back and asking for the black vote again. Someone once said, “Black people are treated like an electoral bootie call, politicians only come around when they want some (your vote),” and black people never think to ask for anything in return. Adolf Hitler once said, “What luck for leaders that people do not think.” For Jews, that was a lesson learned and a horrific experience that will never happen again.

As stated earlier, Bill Clinton defending this piece of garbage he calls a crime bill is cause for concern.  Hillary supported this bill, and neither will take responsibility for dismantling the black family. It is my hope that Black Americans will stop allowing elected leaders to use their family as bargaining chips or simply pretending that 90% of the black vote did not count. In Mr. Drizin’s article, he said, “Mrs. Clinton needs to unveil her plan to the group who were most directly affected by the 1994 Crime Bill.”

My suggestion is to make sentences for those incarcerated for nonviolent offenses (including those doing life for nonviolent drug offenses) retroactive, remove the felony stigma from those on parole and probation for nonviolent offenses, and restore all of their universal rights. Randall Terry said, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Do not get fooled again, that plan needs to be in writing in exchange for the black vote.


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  • Dennison Lowry says:

    Being an African American male who has experienced incarceration you can almost see the conspiracy. It’s like they don’t even care that it is visible when your own government endorse laws that target African American people. It’s slavery reinvented. Technical and scientifical ass kicking. Our ancestors would be ashamed to know this generation has know physical fight in them when it comes to right and wrong. Targeting your brother and sister is by design. Horizontal.

    • nick says:

      The conspiracy is visible now but it wasn’t in the past. We tend to forget our government always endorsed laws that target African Americans. The problem is not the government; we know them well. The problem is Black Americans keep believing the government has their best interest at heart therefore they are going to save them. This is the same government that supported slavery, the sadistic abuse that came along with slavery, Jim Crow laws, white supremacy, and much more. In the past most lawmakers owned slaves. Many of our current lawmakers endorsed the 1999 crime bill, and kept quiet while millions of black men, women, and children languished in prisons for more than twenty years. Even some confused negroes supported the bill. I agree, our ancestors must be turning in their graves with the complacency of generations in the twenty and twenty-first centuries. Pushing the struggle aside as if people did not endure trauma and death to bring them this far is a total disrespect to their ancestors. To prove he was tough on crime, William J. Clinton, governor of Arkansas flew back to his state to put a mentally retarded black man to death. The man (Ricky Ray Rector) was so unaware of what was about to happen he told guards to “save his pie because he thought he would return to finish his dessert.” Now, black people are voting for the same couple who called them super predators (another name for animals) and locked up generations of black people. So the question is not what is wrong with the government. The question is what is wrong with black people?

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