By Angela Wills
Hillary Clinton rang out promises to black Americans on Friday as protesters in the crowd shouted words of disapproval. The presidential hopeful promised to address issues of racism as it exists in the system and even went so far to say that if she’s elected, she’ll tread in the footsteps of the current president, Barack Obama.
Clinton, front-runner of the Democratic presidential campaign, made several stops on her campaign trail. During various speeches she voiced her plans to reform the criminal justice system, which is a topic often approached by her rival presidential candidates, Governor Martin O’Maley and Senator Bernie Sanders. These topics are often the highlight of the campaign for candidates as an attempt to reach and gain the nominee votes of Blacks.
The protesting lasted for more than 10 minutes as Clinton attempted to over talk it with little success. Civil Rights leader, Rep. John Lewis and music sensation, Usher, urged the protesters to let her speak but that only made them louder. Once enough was enough, more than 2,000 student attendees begin to chant, “Let her talk!” and the protesters eventually succumbed to their wishes.
Clinton stated that she wishes the protesters had listened to what she had to say because some of their demands is what she plans on going to battle for if elected as president.
The trouble encountered at Clark University had no bearing on the warm welcome that Hillary would receive at her next stop along the trail, an NAACP banquet in North Charleston, South Carolina. The banquet took place within a 10 mile radius of the historical Emanuel African American Episcopal Church, most recently known for the murder of the pastor and eight other members by a white man this past June.
Clinton’s campaign gestures with the black community is one where she hopes to gain the lead over Sanders. He is her strongest contender among Blacks, and their votes could contribute to more than half of those cast in early voting.
Clinton presented a wide platform of her intentions during her campaign speeches. She voiced her support for harsher gun laws, issues with the criminal justice system, elimination of disparities between punishment for crimes of crack cocaine vs powder cocaine and a ban on racial profiling by law enforcement.
She also has the support of Reverend Jessie Jackson, civil rights leader and former presidential candidate. The support of Jackson speaks volumes, given the fact that during his presidential campaign, he had the support of current presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.