Inside Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise, 2013. Photo: Flickr/ Thomas Hawk Inside Idaho State Penitentiary, Boise, 2013. Photo: Flickr/ Thomas Hawk

The relationship between the Democrats and US minorities is not as rosy as some may claim, notes Shabbir Lakha

The three strikes law is drastic, and certain death for us ghetto bastards.  

Tupac Shakur

The three strikes law was introduced by Joe Biden and championed by Bill and Hillary Clinton. As well as this, Bill Clinton, with the support of Hillary, signed into law the 1033 program which saw the Department of Defence provide over $4.3bn in military equipment to police forces.


Along with advancing the privatisation of prisons and introducing mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offences, these factors have directly resulted in the ability of police forces to act with the level of brutality that they do and the mass incarceration state that America is today, where 37% of the prison population are black (as compared to only being 12% of the entire population). A black person is six times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.

And Obama’s legacy is nothing to be nostalgic about either. The financial crisis of 2007 hit black and ethnic minority communities hardest, yet Obama not only failed to prosecute a single Wall Street broker responsible, he ushered in a regime of austerity that further hit the most vulnerable of these people.

During his 8 years in office, he created a separate body for deporting illegal immigrants, gave it massive funding and deported 2.5 million people – more than the collective total of all US Presidents of the 20th century. This is the apparatus he has left for Trump to use.


While the killers of Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray were being exonerated, and the military was being called in to confront Black Lives Matter protesters, and the people of Flint, Michigan were drinking water unfit for human consumption, Hillary Clinton tried to win the black vote by saying she carries hot sauce in her bag.

Tell me again how you’re confused about the Democrats losing the black and Hispanic votes.

Shabbir Lakha

Shabbir Lakha is a Stop the War officer, a People's Assembly activist and a member of Counterfire.

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