Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy stands with mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel during a recruitment graduation ceremony in Chicago, Illinois. (photo: Jim Young/RT)
Paul Street | CounterPunch | Reader Supported News | December 5, 2015
eneath a carefully constructed pretense of concern for racial justice, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emnuel has long been a dedicated corporatist “law and order” enemy of Black America. During his time as a top political operative in the arch-neoliberal Bill Clinton White House, the notorious bully Emanuel (later to be nicknamed “Rahmbo”) was a driving force behind the 1994 federal “three strikes” Clinton crime bill.
That draconian measure helped make Bill Clinton “the incarceration president” and contributed to a significant increase in the monumental hyper-imprisonment and criminal marking of Black Americans. Among other terrible things, the law put 100,000 more officers on the streets, allocated $10 billion for new prison construction, and eliminated Pell Grant funding for inmates pursuing college degrees while in prison.
Prior to that outrage, Emanuel joined up with Bill Daley to lead Clinton’s passage of the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) – a critical investor rights measure that helped capital drain millions of jobs away from industrial regions where impoverished Black populations desperately needed paid employment.