Post Classifieds
DC Public Library Ad 4

Clinton: Race still plays significant role in determining who gets ahead in America

By Joan H. Allen/Daily Challenge
On April 27, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
gives remarks at the 2016 National Action
Network National Conference. (Joe Tuitt/NNPA News Wire)

It was a packed house at the National Action Network's 25th Anniversary Convention's Plenary Session for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton's speech. Rev. Al Sharpton addressed the press.

“When we say, ‘yes’ and ‘amen,’ that's not a heckler," he quipped. “When the media asks, 'why did Secretary Clinton come to NAN?'  It's because [presidential candidates have] been doing that for over a decade."

Although Sharpton said that he had not yet endorsed a candidate, he sang Clinton's praises.

"We've known each other for over 20 years,” said Sharpton.

They haven't agreed on everything, Sharpton admitted, citing President Bill Clinton’s 1994 crime bill. However, when they've agreed, "she's not been ashamed or anyway stepping back, as she did when, Amadou Diallo was killed by police. She took a public stand.

"Although I haven't endorsed a candidate, I wish to make this clear: the issues need to be dealt with in a substantive way … Black America must be taken seriously … and not given slogans that can't be explained how they can be achieved. Because nobody can win unless we vote seriously."

Sharpton then introduced the mothers and widows of victims killed by police: Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou Diallo's mother; Esaw Garner, Eric Garner's widow; Gwen Carr, Eric Garner's mother; Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother; Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother; Constance Malcolm, Ramarley Graham's mother; Valerie and William Bell, Sean Bell's mother and father.

It was not surprising that there was such a strong presence of these mothers and families of Black victims. They were among the first to have shown their support of Clinton and she has worked with some of them through the years. Clinton who had paid tribute to them in February said, "It was a great honor spending time with them."

As if in response to the sentiments expressed by the earlier panel, "2016: A Transitional Election Year with Much at Stake," Clinton stated, “If we’re gonna’ ask African Americans to vote for us, we cannot take you or your vote for granted. We can’t just show up at election time and say the right things and think that’s enough. We can’t start building relationships a few weeks before a vote.” 

Her strong position on the issue of gun violence is one of the few key areas that distinguishes her from her Democratic opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders, which she addressed.  

"My opponent does not see it the same way, but I think this a national emergency,” she said. “And I'm going to do everything I can to take on the gun lobby and try and do everything I can to save lives."

Clinton continued: "There's something wrong when gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young Black men.  There's something wrong when Black kids get arrested for petty crimes, but White kids for the same crimes don't … Something's wrong when so many Black parents are burying their children …  and it's a time we face up to systemic racism in all its forms. Race still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. Race is the single biggest factor determining whether you live near a toxic site, from ‘asthma alley’ in the Bronx to ‘cancer alley’ in Louisiana.”

It is for this reason Clinton announced she is not only proposing reforming the criminal justice system, she's also proposing a major $125 billion plan to revitalize communities of color and places where poverty remains stubbornly high. She also announced a new plan for environmental justice to get rid of lead in Flint, Michigan and everywhere else in five years.

Joan H. Allen is associate publisher of the Daily Challenge. 

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More districtchronicles News Articles

Recent districtchronicles News Articles

Discuss This Article




Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format