Throughout her campaign, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has faced a fair amount of criticism from African-American voters, who have been less than forgiving to her for describing young black men as “super predators.”
Clinton made the infamous comment in 1996 while supporting her husband’s controversial 1994 crime bill — which set the stage for the mass incarceration of black and brown people. The comment and that bill specifically has been a political sore for the former Secretary of State for quite some time.
Mrs. Clinton’s record on race has been a major hurdle in her attempt to court black voters and convince them that she understands their plight amid endless police shootings and killings of unarmed black men, women and children.
During last night’s presidential debate with Donald Trump, Clinton had the opportunity to earn forgiveness in a sense for her ‘super-predator’ remarks and demonstrate that she comprehends the racial climate in America.
When asked about how she will “heal the divide” in America, Clinton addressed the topic of race head-on:
“Race remains a significant challenge in our country,” Clinton began her statement. “Unfortunately, race still determines too much; often determines where people live, what kind of education in their public schools they can get, and yes it determines how they’re treated in the criminal justice system.”
“We’ve just seen those two tragic examples in both Tulsa and Charlotte,” she said, emphasizing the need to restore trust between communities of color and police departments.
“I have, ever since the first day of my campaign, called for criminal justice reform,” Clinton said “I’ve laid out a platform that I think will begin to remedy some of the problems we have.”
Clinton also took Trump to task for painting a “negative and dire picture of black communities” and his support of stop-and-frisk policing, which was ruled unconstitutional in New York City.
She also criticized the fact that far too many black and Latino men are sent to prison for non-violent offenses — something many would argue is a result of her husband’s crime bill.
“If you’re a young African-American man and you do the same thing as a young white man, you’re more likely to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated,” Clinton said. “We’ve got to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system.”