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What’s at Stake
By Niele Anderson, Contributing Writer
Published November 3, 2016
Niele Anderson

Niele Anderson

What a dilemma! While most black Americans are mourning the exit of the first black family of the United States from the Whitehouse in January, the very legacy of President Obama’s administration hangs on the fringes as Americans cast their votes for the next president.

Affordable Care Act/ Obamacare, Criminal Justice Reform, great relationship with foreign leaders, respect of others cultures, religions and practices, helping veterans, gas prices down, these are a few of the policies, programs, duties that the president championed and exemplified great leadership. He made great success with some, struggled with others and is still fighting for more as he prepares to exit.

While Hillary waits for the baton to continue and add her stamp of policy and leadership she has one more hurdle, Donald Trump the sexual predator and his racist American followers.

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In one of the most detested elections in history, Hillary Clinton prepares to make history by becoming the first woman president. With each day leading up to November 8, comes more junk news flooding the airways with politics that resemble Lifetime movies instead of information.

The question is do we want to continue to move forward with diplomacy or do we want to move towards a dictatorship with a reckless racist named Trump, who has woken up the racists in the back woods, who lacks communication skills, disrespects and assaults women and thinks the country should be run on rhetoric from our founding white fore- fathers of the constitution.

With words like “Make America Great Again” images of cotton fields and thoughts of masters come to mind. Trump’s open display of racism has an overwhelming majority of black men and women saying they saw the 2016 race as a high-stakes election. A majority of older voters described their choice as a vote for Clinton while younger black voters were more likely to describe their choice as a vote against Trump according to Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Now Clinton has had her challenges, trying to sway Bernie Sanders supporters and email scandals that won’t go away.

But let’s not forget President George Bush Jr. deleted over 2 million emails under his administration. Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server—it was owned by the Republican National Committee.

More troubling, researchers found a suspicious pattern in the White House email system blackouts, including periods when there were no emails available from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. Now it is important to know this was the time the administration was considering the war on Iraq.

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The media paid some attention to the Bush email scandal but spent considerably less ink and airtime than than, that has been devoted to Clinton’s digital communications in the past 18 months.

Secretary Clinton and President Clinton have struggled especially with the black community over The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, authored by then-Senator Joe Biden and was supported by almost every Democrat in Congress—including then-Representative Sanders and President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

In addition to 100,000 new police officers, the measure delivered $9.7 billion in new funding for federal prisons.

It also rejected inmate education programs, expanded the federal death penalty and codified “three strikes” sentencing mandates at the federal level, a law which was first passed by California voters.

This is one of the most controversial topics when it comes to the Clintons and the black community. They have apologized and with President Obama aggressively working on Criminal Justice Reform, Hillary Clinton is in line to continue the shift of privatized prison and reverse the curse of mass incarceration that her husband the president at the time helped implement. Both agree the signing of the bill was a grave mistake.

While most topics of Criminal Justice focuses on courts and prison Clinton is also focused on strengthening bonds of trust between communities and police, a major concern for black America. In response to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 Clinton vows to reform mandatory minimum sentencing. Excessive federal mandatory minimum sentences keep nonviolent drug offenders in prison for too long—and have increased racial inequality in our criminal justice system. Hillary will reform this system by:

-Cuttting mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses in half

-Allowing current nonviolent prisoners to seek fairer sentences

-Eliminating the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine so that equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences, and applying this change retroactively

-Reforming the “strike” system, so that nonviolent drug offenses no longer count as a “strike,” reducing the mandatory penalty for second- and third-strike offenses.

Clinton has made a concerted effort to keep the African American community updated with multiple calls a week with agenda focus topics that impact the African American community. The calls include Clinton lead staffers, faith leaders and the black press which gives access and opportunity to have input and question the campaign while Donald Trump’s Campaign has never offered to have genuine dialog with the black community.

While campaigning Clinton has visited over a dozen HBCUs. She plans a “historic $25 billion investment across all HBCUs—public and private—so that each one has the funding to keep creating opportunities and providing more support services for underserved students. That includes expanding on-campus child care and creating more scholarships for students who are also parents to make it easier for them to obtain a degree”, said Clinton. Donald Trump has made no mention of HBCUs.

This election is the future of democracy and for the African American the choice of back to the planation with Trump or moving forward with the Obama agenda and Hillary Clinton.

Categories: Op-Ed | Opinion
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