Continuing the tradition of rewarding his loyalists with top cabinet positions, Donald Trump is now reportedly considering his campaign surrogate and avid fan, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr., for the post of Homeland Security secretary.
It means the president-elect wants a man who thinks racism ended in the '60s and proposed to imprison a million people at Gitmo, to manage the department that has 240,000 employees and the mission “to secure the nation from the many threats we face.”
It is a terrifying thought.
The billionaire media mogul recently held a meeting with the Black Lives Matter-bashing African-American sheriff at the Trump Tower in New York City. When asked, Clarke said he would accept a Trump cabinet position if offered.
Here is what you need to know about Trump’s potential Homeland Security pick.
Proposed sending about 1 million people to Guantanamo Bay:
In December 2015, Clarke suggested detaining Americans who sympathize with terrorists and imprisoning them at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, indefinitely.
During his radio show, “The People's Sheriff,” Clarke suggested that government should suspend habeas corpus (the constitutional protection against unlawful imprisonment), arrest any person who posts pro-terrorist sentiments on social media and charge them with treason.
Even for a conservative extremist like Clarke, this was over the top.
“We have no idea how many people out there have pledged allegiance or are supporting ISIS, giving aid and comfort, but I would suggest hundreds of thousands, I would suggest maybe a million,” he said at the time. “It's just a guess. And then you take the known terrorists that are here, and you think we're going to arrest all these people and put them in jails and then sentence them to prison? It's idiotic. [Take them to] Gitmo and hold them indefinitely under a suspension of habeas corpus. We're at war. This is a time of war. Bold and aggressive action is needed.”
At least four people — including a newborn — have died at his jail this year:
A court-appointed medical monitor said four people, including a newborn baby, have died at the Milwaukee County Jail since April. One of the victims, Terrill Thomas, died of thirst in the prison run by the Clarke.
“Questions certainly can be raised about the occurrence of these four recent deaths and the relationship to officer shortages ... as well as the health care staffing vacancies and the adequacy of oversight of staff,” Dr. Ronald Shanksy wrote in his report.
The facility has population cap of 960 inmates.
“Sheriff Clarke has time to promote his radical ideas on Fox News, far rightwing radio stations, and other conservative outlets,” said Thomas family’s attorney Erik Heipt. “He has time to blog, tweet and wrote op-eds to advance his divisive agenda. Yet, while he’s doing all of this self-promoting, his own jail is understaffed in dire need of leadership.”
Meanwhile, Clarke’s office has been silent about the jail deaths.
“The deaths do raise a lot of questions in terms of the training and supervision of people within his department, and they’ve had a lot of staff turnover,” said Peter Koneazny, litigation director for the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee. “We have concerns about the management of the jail, about the overall quality of care and treatment of inmates.”
So, if Clarke cannot even run a jail efficiently, how could he be qualified for the job of Homeland Secretary?
Calls Black Lives Matter “Black Lies Matter”:
Before long, Black Lies Matter will join forces with ISIS to being down our legal constituted republic. You heard it first here.— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 28, 2015
Clarke, who himself is African-American, once said African Americans sell drugs “because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy and they’re morally bankrupt.”
He also compared Black Lives Matter (which he calls “Black Lies Matter”) to the Ku Klux Klan.
“You see, Black Lives Matter is proving itself to seek only one end — and that is discord, alienation among Americans, rise in hate, and destruction of community bonds,” Clarke wrote in an article for Fox News, titled “It's time to Stand Up to Black Lives Matter.”
“Black Lives Matter has no more to do with black issues than Students for a Democratic Society had to do with democracy,” he added.
Claims “police brutality ended in the 1960s”:
My biggest fear about the War on Police is being realized with real violence aimed at police across our country. https://t.co/RLeySHwjBf— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 15, 2016
“First off, there is no police brutality in America. We ended that back in the '60s,” Clarke told “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade last year. “There's a new Harvard study out that shows that there is no racism in the hearts of police officers. They go about their daily duty, if you will, to keep communities safe.”
He also called the BLM movement “hateful ideology” and accused President Barack Obama of lying about statistics about police aggression against African Americans. Moreover, he has written about “war on police.”
“America in 2016, post-Black Lives Matter is less secure, less free, more divided, and lesser-than in every respect when it comes to our national ideals of freedom and justice for all,” he opined in an op-ed for The Hill. “Not only has the recycled Occupy Wall Street movement created and exacerbated racial tensions in our communities, it has encouraged and set the groundwork for real violence aimed at police across our country.”
Speaking at the Republican National Convention, Clarke proclaimed “Blue Lives Matter” and celebrated the acquittal of the Baltimore Officer Lt. Brian Rice, who was involved in Freddie Gray’s fatal shooting.
Urged Trump supporters to take up pitchforks and torches:
It's incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time pic.twitter.com/8G5G0daGVN— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 15, 2016
It looks like all of Trump’s buddies are just as hypocritical as the man himself.
In the days leading up to the election, when Trump was repeatedly talking about rigged system and voter fraud, Clarke urged Americans to riot.
How to stop riots. 1)Declare state of emergency.2)Impose early curfew. 3)Mobilize Nat Guard.4)Authorize ALL non lethal force. 5)Tear gas. pic.twitter.com/laBvrRbiz3— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) November 12, 2016
Then, when people took to the streets to protest Trump’s election as the next commander-in-chief, Clarke proposed declaring a state of emergency — because Trump supporters are the only ones with the right to have the voices heard, it appears.