June 08, 2017

#Hillsplaining and gubernatorial slave labor

If you've been #woke on Twitter the past 24 hours, you know that old comments by Hillary Clinton, about her and Bill having the Arkansas governor's mansion maintained by slave labor, have been making the rounds. They've done so primarily for her patronizing — or would that be matronizing? — Hillsplaining.

Also noted on Twitter has been that James Earl Carter had similar care when guv of Georgia. However, his story is different. A female inmate who cooked for the mansion once asked for $250. Eventually she told him that she still owned $750 in fines and would be released when it was paid, and that she had $500 already. Whether loan or gift, she got the other $250 from Carter.

So, let's assume every post-Civil War governor who went on to become, or seriously run for, president, had inmate labor — the one type of slavery the 13th Amendment still allows — maintaining the big house.

What would they say?

Rutherford Hayes — "I know you're inmate labor, but could you also become a presidential elector? I need just one more!"

Grover Cleveland — "I'd love to pay you, but I'm running for president on a campaign to end free silver, so I cannot."

Teddy Roosevelt — "That's a bully job you're doing there. If you'd like, I can get you into the Army and serving in Brownsville. I'll forget about you when you're dishonorably discharged in a decade."

William Howard Taft, as governor-general of the Philippines: "I must thank MacArthur for subduing these folks."

Woodrow Wilson: "I'm the governor and you're the slave, I mean, inmate. Be grateful I'm not wearing my Klan robes."

Calvin Coolidge: "I'd really prefer a white slave. Can't we arrest some of those Kennedy Irish? Oops, I've said too much for me."

FDR: "You have one job — hide Lucy from Eleanor. Fail, and you're back to being a field slave."

Ronald Reagan: "Aren't you Stepin Fetchit? I know I saw you on some movie back lot."

Bill Clinton: "Wait until Hillary comes home! Boy, are you in trouble then. And what was your name? Rector? Ricky Rector?"

George W. Bush: "Shape up or I'll make you cackle like Karla Faye Tucker."

More seriously, it's neither a laughing, nor a -splaining, matter, especially not for modern Democrats. It undercuts true rehabilitation goals. It undercuts outside paid labor. And, all of this is doubly true of private prisons.


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