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Black Lives protesters respectful in exchange with Hillary Clinton

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Unread 08.19.15, 04:43 AM
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Black Lives protesters respectful in exchange with Hillary Clinton

08.18.15 11:17 AM

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton recently met privately with Black Lives Matter activists. Unlike her presidential rivals, Clinton was not rudely interrupted mid-speech by the activists and actually spent most of the conversation telling them what she thinks.

The activists spoke to Clinton about a prevailing “anti-blackness current” in the U.S. and how the criminal justice system exists to turn “black bodies” into profit.

The video notes that Hillary and her husband President Bill Clinton are actually largely responsible for the massive expansion of the current prison system via lobbying for tough-on-crime legislation during the former president’s tenure in the White House.

One protester asked Clinton, who championed her husband’s largest in history expansion of the prison system back in 1994, how she has changed to see the need for U.S. prison reforms.

‘Well, obviously, it’s a very thoughtful question and it deserves a thoughtful answer,” Clinton said before explaining how she has worked to help minority children avoid criminal activities with outreach programs.

Clinton when on to say that the U.S. has yet to recover from its “original sin,” a message she advised the activists she is working to “sell” politically.

The former first lady went on to chide the activists for lacking a coherent plan for change.

“All I’m saying is, your analysis is totally fair, it’s historically fair, it’s psychologically fair, it’s economically fair. But you’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, ‘Here’s what we want done about it,’” Clinton said.

“Because you can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it,” Clinton continued.

She later urged, “Even for us sinners, find some common ground on agendas that can make a difference right here and now in people’s lives.”

Later, the activist insisted that “there’s not much” black Americans can do to “stop the violence against us.”

Clinton shot back, “If that is your position, then I will talk only to white people.”

The activist replied that the former top diplomat was “victim blaming” and that the activists what her view on changing hearts.

“I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate,” Clinton said.

“You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not,” she went on.

The videoed exchange leaves us with:

  • A surprise: Aside from her suggestion that white guilt is mandatory, nothing Clinton said to the protesters was really that far off the mark. For example, she’s right to insist that no one can please the protesters if even they lack a coherent, consistent message and a list of solutions and priorities.
  • An observation: That was much more civil an exchange than what Bernie Sanders recently endured when he was pushed off the stage at his own event.
  • And a question: Do you think any of the other presidential contenders, from either party, would have gotten away with speaking so forcefully to the black lives protesters?
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