Black Vote Pandering Tips for Hillary Clinton

By Michael Harriot

Lately Hillary Clinton has been all over my social media timelines doing whatever the white woman equivalent is of “shucking and jiving.” Don’t get me wrong, I expect all of the candidates to court the Black vote with unrealistic promises of everything from affirmative action to slave reparations paid entirely in Kool-Aid packets, but Hillary has taken it to another level.

While visiting Birmingham last week she defiled my usual Saturday brunch spot —Yo Mama’s — by ordering the chicken and waffles. She probably didn’t even use hot sauce. No one named Hillary uses hot sauce. Not Hillary Clinton. Not Hillary Banks from “The Fresh Prince…” Not even Sir Edmund Hillary. I’m sure when he reached the summit of Mount Everest, he had not one tobasco-related product to speak of, and that’s a shame.

Anyway, last week Hillary popped up on the set of Scandal to tweet out a quick photo with Kerry Washington to show Black women she’s down. Either she was pandering for votes or she needed some advice from Olivia Pope about the whole email thing. Then she started showing up at beauty salons and Black churches all over South Carolina just before the primaries. It wasn’t just that she was asking for votes. It was as if she thought that she could boondoggle black folks into voting for her because she watched Scandal and got a press-n-curl every other week. I wasn’t falling for it.

I’m not saying Hillary can’t trick me into voting for her. I simply have a list of alternative pandering schemes Hillary could complete if she wants my Black vote, like:

Do the Wobble If Hillary Clinton learned The Wobble, I’d vote for her. I wouldn’t even require her to be good at it, like the people who shuffle-spin-dip-kick on the right turn part.  If the Pants Suit Princess took three shots of Hennessy and lasted through the bridge of The Wobble, I would go to her campaign headquarters and volunteer, and you know I’on even f*** with Hillary like that. It has gotta be The Wobble though, because I feel like every white person in America knows the Electric Slide. They teach it in the first semester of the cultural appropriations classes that anyone cashing in on their white privilege is required to take. The “Electric Slide” and lyrics to the remix of “One More Chance” are on the final exam

Build a time machine I don’t insist that she do it, but I think Hillary has the resources and the contacts to build a time machine. If she really wants my vote, all she has to do is break the space/time continuum, go back a couple of decades, and rescind the statement where she vilified Black children as “Super predators…” who must be brought “to heel.” Surrogates have since apologized for the statement (contrary to popular belief, she has not apologized, only said that she shouldn’t have used those words), and have tried to explain it away by saying she was not referring to Black children. I’m not buying it. You be the judge:

She could buy my vote by overcoming the laws of physics, going back to that crime bill, and listening to the chorus of crime experts, sociologists and researchers (of whom there were many, despite the narrative that says “everyone was for it…”) who tried to explain that flooding Black neighborhoods with police would not reduce drugs or crime, it would simply result in more Black people in jail and more police brutality. Most experts (including Bill and Hillary) knew that the crack epidemic and high crime was more complex than simply arresting more people, but the Clinton Administration chose to ignore it because nuance doesn’t get votes. Throwing Black people under the bus always does.

Ask Donald Trump.

Also, if Hillary is successful in building a time machine, please go back and tell the 17-year old version of myself that Hammer pants are not cool. Please?

Give back the money from Wall Street speeches. Hillary admits to making hundreds of thousands of dollars for  speeches to Wall Street companies. When asked about it, during a debate with Bernie Sanders, she insisted that she has never changed a vote because of money.

Oh, that’s why you thought we were mad, Hillary?

Since the housing market crashed, investigations and research shows that almost every large Wall Street institution profiteered off Black people. They charged Black people higher interest rates and higher fees even though they had the same qualifications as the banks’ white customers. Not to mention the subprime mortgages, shady derivatives and repackaged products that disproportionately affected the pockets of people of color. Wall Street made billions of dollars and what did they do with the profit? They gave themselves bonuses, paid lobbyists, and –

stuffed some of it into Hillary Clinton’s bank account.

Give it back.

Promise to nominate Judge Greg Mathis to the Supreme Court The American people would pay attention to the SCOTUS if — every now and then — one of the justices sporadically asked the claimants if they smoke crack. We need common-sense logic applied to the highest court, and Judge Mathis is the perfect person to do it. America’s appellate system needs a  dose of “real niggadom” injected into it. I can imagine Fox News interrupting a TV show to bring the results of an important affirmative action case, and reading a summary opinion that just says:

“I don’t believe you. Get your tail outta my court, trying to play me for Boo Boo la Fool. I ought to lock your behind up… Let me ask you something. Do you smoke crack?”

Even if he can’t be confirmed, I’d vote for Hillary if she nominated him.

Stop profiting from  mass incarceration It’s easy for Hillary Clinton to distance herself from laws that issued unequal sentences for crack cocaine, mandatory minimums and three strikes — all resulting in the mass incarceration of Black men. What is more difficult to explain is why she insists on still benefitting from mass incarceration if she is sincere about ending it. she stated she was going to donate contributions to charity she had received from the prison industry… but not really:

Despite the refunds, Clinton campaign continues to benefit handsomely from the fundraising assistance of some closely connected to the private prison business. In another report filed Sunday night, the campaign disclosed that Richard Sullivan of Capitol Counsel—until recently, a Raleigh, N.C.-based federally registered lobbyist for the for-profit prison operator GEO Group—bundled $69,363 in donations for Clinton in the fourth quarter, bringing his total for the year to a whopping $274,891.

That makes Sullivan the second-most prolific lobbyist-bundler for the Clinton campaign, beaten out only by D.C. lobbyist Heather Podesta, who’s tallied up $348,581 so far.

- Politico Magazine

If Hillary becomes president, it will be partly because Black men are in jail, so it is almost impossible to believe that she will be willing to cut off the hand that fed her rise to becoming the most powerful woman in the free world. And by “almost” I mean “literally.”

Shout Hey, Hillary stop going to Black churches and playing on the innate ties to religion. I get the heebie-jeebies when I hear Hotep niggas whispering about how Christianity is just a tool that Europeans gave Black people to control them. I don’t totally buy the theory, but when I see Hillary surrounding herself with pastors and religious leaders glad-handing her way through churches, my third eye gives the side-eye. If she wants going to exploit the religious glitch in the Black mistrust matrix, she should have to catch the Holy Ghost just one time. And no flailing about like they do in the unmelanated houses of worship, she’s  gotta shout on beat. To “shouting music.” Until the ushers make that protective holy ghost shouting circle around her with their arms. Then, and only then, will I vote for Hillary.

No I won’t. I’m lying.

She should be used to that.


About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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