I haven’t been inspired to write in a while because life demanded that I take a step back and enjoy it a little bit. To those whom I have abandoned in a sense, I apologize. I am currently moved to spew my thoughts in true Philly fashion. I’ll break this down, so that we can all understand where I’m coming from. This is like a chat among homies in the barbershop. However, you are welcome to sit in on my perspective.
As most of you know, I grew up with a broken upbringing. My grandmother raised me, my dad is an infamous crime figure of my city, and my mother had her demons as well with gang and drug abuse. At 6 years old, I found my self living with my grandmother; at 9 years old, I found myself selling dope. That would be 1991. In ’92 Clinton became president and in ’94 we got the crime bill and NAFTA.
When it comes to NAFTA, people love to invoke the revisionist history and make it seem as if it was an actual benefit to our economy or they try to minimize the actual jobs lost. This was millions of jobs, not a few hundred thousand. Many of them were manufacturing jobs. 700,000 alone were lost to Mexico. When the economy bottoms out, the first people to lose their jobs are black people. When manufacturing jobs go, there’s a domino effect that hits other sectors of labor that depend on a robust manufacturing industry. We lost manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China, India and the likes; not only did products become less reliable, but the toxicity levels have risen while the supply efficiency has declined.
With the crime bill, we saw a vilifying of young black youth magnified not only by white people, but also by Bill & Hillary Clinton and the ever so present White Supremacy structure known as the U.S. Government. However, what blows my mind is our elders (leaders in the black community) were willing to contribute to this by standing next to a Clinton. From blaming rap music to outright supporting and applauding the crime bill of 1994. The leaders who had sit-ins and were a part of protests blamed rap music for things going wrong within our community. A young black boy isn’t born into thinking less of black women or that the guy he goes to school with and share the same struggles with will be an “enemy” he has to kill. Rap & urban violence, hatred of black women, etc. are all residual effects of what’s been embedded into us by a system that isn’t even for us. Rap music before extreme exploitation and perversion by white people, was OUR protest. The system heard it as US being the problem instead of THEM being the problem. The system sets us up and then they imprison us. Even worse, they allowed corporations to own prisons. These prisons get paid according to occupancy. Oh and by the way, some of those manufacturing jobs lost, are now being done by prisoners making pennies a day. Not only did they take away our way of life then specifically target & disproportionately incriminate us, but they have also enslaved the descendants of slaves by paying them less in a day than Americans were paid per hour for the same work. Someone was making $20/hour doing it, but now a prisoner is making it for less than $20/day.
Will full disclosure, I’m not sitting in the hood wondering where my next meal is coming from. My net worth is pretty good. I could easily become a Ben Carson like brother and act as if the struggle was NOT real and the simple solutions in life were prayer and books. However, I was born and raised in a city where Black Panthers became the Black Mafia thanks to
the government. I’m from a city where the government thought it was okay to bomb a building with black women and children. Who cares about possibly leveling a city street? Who cares about about the post traumatic stress syndrome of the community who’s now unsure of what the government is willing to do?
What I’ve grown to realize is that while all of us share the same skin and struggles, the intensity or effect isn’t always the same. While I’m involved enough in a few things to know for a fact that some people have sold their soul and have sold out The Struggle or current movement for their personal gain, I’m also respectful of the fact that some of us just don’t see the result of the Clinton era the same. I see an era where they made their friends richer and blacks poorer. Others see the Clinton era as a time where we were prospering. Those same Clintons propped up and gave favors to crooked entities such as Enron and Worldcom but passed the blame down to George W. Bush. God knows that Republicans can be complete fuck ups when it comes to the black community but I would beg you to look deeper into the business sector and see how the Clintons did you more harm than good.
If you can vote for a Clinton after your research, then fine. Bernie Sanders isn’t my ideal guy but I’d hate for my kids to look at me the way I look at our predecessors who championed the toxic and detrimental Clinton policies. In fact, I would be worse. The evidence is all there and I ignored it? I owe my future kids better as well as yours. I owe my community better.
No matter how this election goes, I will not be voting for a Clinton. Yes, you can say “But she did this, that and the other to our benefit.” Well, the colonials gave the natives blankets. A warm and cozy death is death nonetheless. The black community (myself included) should have put forth or championed a better candidate — like certain members in congress — instead of picking from whose dictated to us. It is too late to change that; however, it’s not too late to make people aware of who isn’t getting my vote.
I would personally like to invite Bernie Sanders to Philadelphia, to walk through my hood and many others within the city, to see and understand the plight of our people. The same invitation is extended to members of Congress or the Senate. I would invite Hillary but she’s well aware of what she’s had a hand in doing.
I’m no talking head of a leader, I can’t be purchased. I am a black male that the system, including the Clintons, did everything in their power to destroy. I persevered. Many like me have and we can’t allow our youth to be called predators, by predators. We need drastic change and selecting a Clinton isn’t my idea of getting the change we need.
This isn’t my endorsement of Bernie Sanders. This is merely my extended hand. There’s many more like me, we’re just waiting on you.