The Huffington Post reports the following Hillary Clinton quote:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Friday doubled down on her defense of Eric Garner, who was killed by New York City police, saying he didn’t deserve a fatal chokehold for selling loose cigarettes.
“I still can’t get over that Eric Garner, in Staten Island in New York, he died from a chokehold,” Clinton said during MSNBC’s Democratic candidates forum. “He was selling loose cigarettes. Was it illegal? Sure. Did he need to die? No.”
I say Eric Garner deserved neither death nor punishment for the kind of panhandling many whites do in desperate situations, in order to raise cash. Poverty should not be a condition that is punishable. That kind of view of the social pecking order is what separates neoliberals from progressives. Poverty is not a crime, yet we punish it as if it were.
This is an ideological flaw we consistently see in Clinton in her ideological and policy approaches to class and race. There is an expectation by her of tiers perceived as lower to magically cure a condition that is promoted by the social and economic order she is protecting from more fundamental reforms. We see it in this simple reaction to police brutality, we saw it in her reaction to a BLM protester in New Hampshire, and we see it in where she stops when it comes to Wall Street reforms.
Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, and God only knows how many other Black men who were economically vulnerable paid with their lives for being in need. Neoliberalism is a mindset in which tools are “given” so the needy can pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Neoliberalism is a mindset that is incompatible with reforming a system that is in need of fundamental reforms.
I take great exception to neoliberalism.