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How the Clintons built their political power over the top of Black lives.

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In general the Democratic party outflanked the Republican party from the right, and I think that is the great legacy of Bill Clinton's presidency - that on a number of issues, especially welfare reform and criminal justice inside the United States, he appropriated and expanded what historically had been a Republican platform.

Historian Donna Murch recalls the effects of the Clinton political partnership on Black America during the 1990s - from landmark legislation gutting welfare and expanding incarceration, to their conscious courting of White voters through dog-whistle politics - and analyzes the factors behind Hillary Clinton's political support from Black America in 2016.

Donna contributed to the Verso Books collection False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, extracted as the piece The Clintons’ War on Drugs: When Black Lives Didn’t Matter for The New Republic.

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Donna Murch

Donna Murch is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.

 

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