Hillary Clinton Discusses Mass Incarceration With Black Lives Matter Activist

Hillary Clinton
Photo Courtesy: UPI

KEENE, N.H., Aug. 18 (UPI) — Videos were released Monday of a backstage conversation between three #BlackLivesMatter representatives and Hillary Clinton at an Aug. 11 campaign stop in New Hampshire.

The 15-minute conversation featured the three individuals and Clinton going back and forth between various topics. It is available online in two parts.

Clinton disagreed with #BlackLivesMatter campaign’s plan to publicly press her onissues related to mass incarceration. Specifically, the activists sought a personal statement of opinion on legislation pursued decades ago by former President Bill Clinton, the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act.

The 1994 legislation is considered the largest crime bill in history because it included $9.7 billion in funding for prisons, which helped double the number of inmates during the Clinton administration.

The first video begins with #BlackLivesMatter representative Julius Jones reviewing America’s history of violence toward black people and asking Clinton what her heartfelt opinion on that history is and how she feels her change of heart will extend onto changing the direction of the country. In an initially politically-friendly reply, Clinton says that the movement’s lack of a clear agenda for reversing the nation’s pattern of racial discrimination will leave the vast majority of Americans in the dark as to how to ensure a non-discriminatory society. In the second video, Clinton’s reply tenses up the exchange, as Jones objects to Clinton’s suggestions and says that if black people are not told what they need to do, black people will not do the same to whites.

Clinton stands by her logic and tells Jones that if that is his position, she will from now on only speak to whites when trying to figure out how to resolve the discrimination problem. Jones took issue with Clinton’s reply, claiming it’s a “form of victim blaming” for Clinton to tell the movement how to “change white hearts.” This moved Clinton to deliver a frank explanation of her view of politics, claiming that the movement is unable to change hearts but is able to change laws, resource allocations and “the way systems operate.” Ultimately, she said that if changing hearts is “all that happens, we’ll be back here in ten years having the same conversation.”

Daunasia Yancey, who accompanied Jones and a third representative in their exchange with Clinton, said she was unsatisfied with the candidate’s response, claiming it was too focused on policy.


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