Hillary Clinton’s famous book It Takes a Village was published in 1996, but earlier this afternoon, the activist Samuel Sinyangwe—who has written on prison slave labor before—dug up an old excerpt. By 2017 standards (and we think by 1996 standards, too?), it’s pretty shocking:
What Hillary did certainly wasn't illegal, and the problem was systemic, but it seems morally reprehensible on a number of levels—not the least of which is how she seems to pat herself on the back for adjusting to a deplorable situation, rather than questioning or attempting to change the situation itself. Instead, she “abided by tradition,” and all we can say is that we're glad Hillary wasn't a major political figure around 1865.
As you might imagine, the “news” has triggered an avalanche of commentary online. Most of the initial reactions looked something like this:
Things quickly turned sardonic and bitter:
But probably the best and most sincere thread on the entire matter came from @JeannetteJing, which you can read here. And while you’re here, read Shane Bauer’s excellent Mother Jones feature on the four months he spent as a private prison guard. Beyond the outrage, which we’re still processing, it’s astounding that this passage never saw the light of the day either in the primary or the general election. I’d say “lucky her,” but, well….you know.