On Charleston: Hillary Clinton acknowledges white privilege and the need for new gun control laws

On Charleston: Hillary Clinton acknowledges white privilege and the need for new gun control laws June 20, 2015

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addressed the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco on Saturday morning and discussed among other issues the recent shooting at the historic Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and addressed America’s need for new and sensible gun control laws.

“I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law-abiding communities, but I also know that we can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable, while respecting responsible gun owners.”

She also made clear she believed this could be accomplished across party lines, if we let evidence dictate our thinking and “make this debate less polarized, less inflamed by ideology and more informed by evidence.”

And unlike her Republican counterparts, Clinton did not back away from the issue of race, discussing the role white people make in changing the culture of racism in the US.

“For a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear. And news reports about poverty and crime and discrimination evoke sympathy, even empathy, but too rarely do they spur us to action or prompt us to question our own assumptions and privilege. We can’t hide from any of these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them and own them, and then change them.”

Admitting privilege is one of the biggest first steps white people can take in our fight to end racism in the US and change the structural system in which this racism feeds.

Watch a clip from Clinton’s speech below

[Image: CNN / YouTube screen capture]

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