One of the problems many Black voters have with Joe Biden is the 1994 crime bill he co-authored that led to the mass incarceration of Black Americans.
One of the problems many in the Black community have with Biden’s recently-announced running mate, Kamala Harris, is her record as a California attorney general who was instrumental in locking up a large number of Black people.
Longtime congresswoman Rep. Maxine Waters says voters should put these problems aside.
During an appearance on the Make It Plain podcast featuring Mark Thompson (Matsimela Mapfumo), Waters said she not only predicted Harris would be selected as vice president, but she also believes that policies like Biden’s crime bill won’t happen again.
“Any mistakes that they have made in their past — that’s over with,” Waters said. “Black Lives Matter ensures you’ll never see that happen again.
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“I think that for many people that we’ve worked with for years, who have not done the right thing, not said the right thing — whether we’re talking about Biden or the Congressional Black caucus and the crime bill — you’ll never see that happen again. Change is taking place,” Waters added.
She concluded that Democratic party is leaning more toward a progressive approach. “I think we will move forward on a progressive agenda and we will leave behind us those who are so traditional…I think we are going to see progress.”
It remains to be seen if people will forgive Biden’s part in mass incarceration.
I could see divergences on Biden & Kamala based on whether a family has been personally impacted by the Clinton-Biden crime bill. If skin in the game=you’re not on the team. If not, not a big deal, some negro elites looking to rise up in the DNC under Clinton supported it too.Jamarlin Martin, founder and CEO of The Moguldom Nation, Twitter
Even Harris, when she debated him as a presidential candidate, didn’t let Biden forget the crime bill.
“I have a great deal of respect for Vice President Joe Biden, but I disagree. That crime bill, that 1994 crime bill, it did contribute to mass incarceration in this country,” Harris told reporters in May 2109 after a town hall in New Hampshire, NBC News reported.
Biden defended himself. “Folks, let’s get something straight, 92 out of every 100 prisoners end up behind bars are in a state prison, not a federal prison. This idea that the crime bill generated mass incarceration — it did not generate mass incarceration,” Biden said during a campaign stop.
In 1994, Biden was a senator from Delaware and helped write and support the bill, which was later signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. It included billions in funding to states for new prisons, trained police officers, added more law enforcement positions and instituted the three-strikes rule. The three-strikes rule mandated life sentences that were handed down to people convicted of a violent felony three times.
Critics of the law complained it disproportionately harmed African Americans.
“The 1994 crime law was certainly meant to increase incarceration in an attempt to crack down on crime, but its implementation doesn’t appear to have done much in that area,” Vox reported. “And while the law had many provisions that are now considered highly controversial, some portions, including the Violence Against Women Act and the assault weapons ban, are fairly popular among Democrats.”
Although Biden helped write the bill, he opposed parts of the law. In 1994, he reportedly called a three-strikes provision “wacko,” Vox reported.
“When there is a great deal of ‘political profit’ from a policy position, it can’t be a simple mistake,” Moguldom CEO Jamarlin Martin tweeted.
Harris herself has faced criticism over her prosecutorial record in California. It was the opinion of many that she favored the police and was slow to act on criminal justice reform.
Harris was California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017and during that time, she rejected calls from civil rights groups to investigate deadly police shootings in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the New York Post reported.
“As attorney general, she weaponized technicalities to keep wrongfully convicted people behind bars rather than allow them new trials with competent counsel and prosecutors willing to play fair,” Lara Bazelon reported for The Appeal. She also “failed to hold police and prosecutors accountable for misconduct.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
In 2015, she declined when the Legislative Black Caucus asked Harris to support bills mandating all police officers wear body cameras and that the attorney general’s office investigate lethal officer-involved shootings.
Harris also championed a law that went after the parents of chronically truant children and supported a system that locks up people too poor to post bail.
“These policies were part and parcel of a system of mass incarceration that has deeply harmed poor people and communities of color,” Bazelon reported.