On Monday’s MSNBC Town Hall moderated by Rachel Maddow, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that ‘as a white person‘ she feels the need to acknowledge racism in America every chance she gets.
The Washington Times reports that the statement came after a young African-American lawyer from the audience asked the former Secretary of State how she planned to tackle systemic racism “that creates a glass ceiling for many 20-somethings.”
“We are still facing and struggling with systemic racism,” Clinton responded. “It’s true in employment and promotion and other job opportunities. It’s true in education. It’s true in health care. It’s true in the criminal justice system. That’s why I talk about breaking down all the barriers. We have economic barriers, to be sure. But we have very entrenched barriers of discrimination.”
She then went on to explain what she would do to fix the issue.
“No. 1, we have to talk about it more,” the presidential front-runner said. “And as a white person, I have to talk about it more and say that we are not a post-racial society.”
Per The Washington Times, Clinton admitted that America still struggles with racism today, deeming it “unacceptable” because it’s wrong and hurts the country as a whole. She says prejudice holds back hardworking individuals like the young Black lawyer and is counterproductive to the American society. Clinton also addressed the ongoing issue of sexism.
“So, I want to enforce the laws,” she said. “I want to make it clear that this is unacceptable. I want to speak out about it, and then I want to call people into the White House. Because one of the great powers of the president is to be the convener in chief, bring people in, and say, ‘You’ve got do more, and here are ideas that we have that have worked.’ And you have to try to implement those, and that’s exactly what I intend to do, because I don’t want to see any young person held back because of any of these barriers.”
Since announcing her candidacy for president, Clinton has made many efforts to secure the Black vote. The presidential hopeful touched on the topics of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, police misconduct and ending the school-to-prison pipeline in a speech given in Harlem back in February, MSNBC.com reports.
“This is not just an education issue. This is a civil rights issue and we cannot avoid it any longer,” she said after proposing a $2 billion dollar program that would improve school resources and prevent fueling the school-to-prison pipeline.
According to MSNBC.com, Clinton also sat down with National Action Network president Rev. Al Sharpton and lawyer Benjamin Crump to discuss policies that would aid in “breaking down barriers” for African-Americans.
“We have to use the bully pulpit, which I intend to use, to speak out about systemic racism every chance I get,” she said at the MSNBC Town Hall.