Voting, the final fig-leaf


by Mumia Abu-Jamal

As elections near, voters face the choices before them with something like dread: Donald Trump: loud, bombastic, bellicose, rich as Croesus and xenophobic, or the presumptive Democratic nominee – unless Vermont’s Bernie Sanders manages to upend her – Hillary Rodham Clinton: slick as oil, flexible as a Slinky, bottled-blonde ambition and wife of the penultimate political animal, “Slick Willie” Clinton.

People Magazine ran this photo in March and commented: “Back in 2005, Bill and Hillary Clinton were VIP guests at Donald Trump's wedding to his wife Melania – and it sure looks like all four had a pretty good time. … The billionaire businessman has, over the years, given at least $100,000 to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and made multiple cash donations to Hillary Clinton's various political campaigns before this one.” – Photo: Maring Photography
People Magazine ran this photo in March and commented: “Back in 2005, Bill and Hillary Clinton were VIP guests at Donald Trump’s wedding to his wife Melania – and it sure looks like all four had a pretty good time. … The billionaire businessman has, over the years, given at least $100,000 to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and made multiple cash donations to Hillary Clinton’s various political campaigns before this one.” – Photo: Maring Photography

Both options elicit eyebrow-raising negative ratings. In a word, it’s a battle between Nasty vs. Crafty.

Indeed, this election may turn on who is hated least. Ultimately, the race may reveal voters choosing a victor by voting not so much for one, but voting against the other.

Trump seems to (ahem) “trumpet” his meanness, almost as if posting a sign: “No Mexicans, no Blacks, no broads and no Chinks need to vote here!”

Hillary, as co-architect of the prison industrial complex, has shown up in more Black churches than the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. She has eaten pork chops, quoted Sojourner Truth and tried to sing Negro spirituals to lure Black voters.

Sadly, millions of Black voters will opt for Clinton, who helped cause more Black pain on a vast scale than any antebellum slave-owner.

Thank goodness for Black youth, who, as Black Lives Matter, bucked their parents to raise a burning issue: mass incarceration.

Unlike virtually any constituency in America, we vote for who we feel comfortable with – and demand nothing. Other constituencies demand discrete, clear policies – and get them.

We vote like children in a grocery store – for bright, shiny, glittery things; y’know, sugar cereal!

If Hillary Rodham Clinton gets elected, it’ll be because of Black voters – rewarding a politician for her policy of repression.

© Copyright 2016 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Keep updated at His new book is “Writing on the Wall,” edited by Joanna Hernandez. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.


  1. Such a shame Clinton tricked Bernie into voting for that crime bill. Luckily he did that march in college to make up for it.

  2. And why did he vote for that Crime Bill? He fought against the mass incarceration aspects of it, the death penalty, voted 7 times against those parts. Like everything else, he knew what it would lead to, there is a video of him protesting it. So why did he vote for it. An offer he could not refuse. 1.6 billion dollars, with a b, to help eradicate and prosecute violence against women. And a bonus assault rifle ban as well. As to the other parts, this is what he told his fellow lawmakers,
    "It is also my view, that through the neglect of our Government, and through a grossly irrational set of priorities, we are dooming tens of millions of young people to a future of bitterness, misery, hopelessness, drugs, crime and violence. And Mr Speaker, all the jails in the world, and we already imprison more people per capita than any other country, all all the executions in the world, will not make that right. We can either educate or else trio ute. We can create meaningful jobs, rebuilding our society, or we can build more jails. Mr Speaker, let us create a society of hope and compassion, not one of hate and vengeance.
    Hillary Clinton, of course, had this to say, " They are not just gangs of kids anymore, they are the type of kids called superpredators, no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about how they got that way, but first we have to bring them to heel."

  3. Your argument is undermined by your selective and sexist portrayal of HRC, and your skewed representation of the conditions that led to the passage of the crime bill. The argument simultaneously characterizes HRC as both a mere extension of her husband and a calculating megalomaniac. Why is it relevant that she colors her hair? Those subtle asides make it seem as if your criticisms of her are less than legitimate. As for her role as the "co-architect" in the prison industrial complex, well, that's just not true. Yes, it's easy to look at things in retrospect and cast blame. But the reality is, the crime bill was the result of many complex factors, not all malicious. Many people had good intentions, which is why many Black political leaders and communities supported the bill. Of course, we all now know that the bill was a horrific failure and has devastated generations. But to act as if HRC was the driving force, or intended this outcome, is wrong. Nobody had clean hands on this, not even Sanders (who not only actually voted for the bill but also argued that the solution to sentencing disparities was to INCREASE the sentences all around, rather than decrease them for everyone.)

    HRC is not perfect, but this line of criticism is deeply flawed.

  4. Ah yes, the "death by good intentions" argument…. Anyway, despite drawing attention away from the details in order to defend HRC in generalizations, can you offer any specific defenses to the points given? No, its all true. Its unfortunate that you support HRC in my opinion, but at least support her for what she is instead of trying argue that she's a thing she isn't.

    • I did argue several counterpoints to the above; however, considering the sweeping generalizations in the article, it's difficult to know where to begin. I gave several specifics that are easily confirmed though Google. In fact, even the few examples I gave outnumbered those given in the article. And it is also the author who seeks to present the world in simplistic, broad generalizations. I am merely pointing out that this is a simplistic view that in no way helps us get out of the situation in which we've all found ourselves. It is that same overly simplistic thinking got us here. If you don't want to believe it, and prefer to see HRC as a modern do boogeyman, that's your choice.

  5. The biggest problem with Hillary's winning is that Sanders was unknown at the beginning of this race, especially when she paid for and garnered these super delegates! The Complexion of this race has now changed.

    Now another potential problem has surfaced… Her son-in-law received money from Goldman Sacs in 2011 for a Hedge fund that has had enormous problems! I think if one is diligent, as in the Republican Smear machines that this will become a much larger issue in the future! There is just so much baggage that one can overcome and her suitcases are already full!

  6. Everything the Clintons touch turns into a massive legal controversy because they are so profoundly unethical. And of course, Hillary Clinton is certainly the most unethical person ever to seek the Democratic nomination in modern history. And the question that Democrat voters need to ask themselves as this primary plays out is—the Democratic voters are responding to Bernie Sanders because Bernie is giving a message of saying we don’t want the oligarchs to run the show and we don’t want the special interests to call the shots and we don’t want a legislative process that’s controlled by money.

    Should they nominate Hillary Clinton as a result of this super delegate rigged system, the Democrats will have chosen as their nominee the embodiment of all things corruption, the embodiment of the oligarchy, the embodiment of special interests control over our legislative process. The only people who will make decisions in the Hillary Clinton administration will be people with very deep pockets and very powerful connections. And it would just seem to me that part of the closing pitch for Bernie Sanders has to be: Do we want the Democratic Party to be a Party that is completely and totally 100% owned by Hillary Clinton’s corporate benefactors? Hillary Clinton made 30,000 emails disappear and put them outside the reach of FOIA by putting them on her private server and declaring them to be personal. We have every reason to believe that those emails relate to the conduct discussed in Clinton Cash. In other words, Hillary Clinton is making all of these secret deals with foreign governments to get her family rich and then marking them personal—when she should have been focused on providing security for the Benghazi compound… [and so] when I say I want the media to focus in on this issue. It’s not just that they already have—they’ve confirmed all the reporting, all the major reporting in Clinton Cash—it’s about following it to its logical conclusion. In other words, what’s happened is that Hillary Clinton put national security at risk, violated the rules for storing emails, created a… private server, then deleted or moved out of the public reach crucial emails all to cover up a massive scam on the American people to get her and her husband rich. That’s the story that needs to be investigated.

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