“If we stand with each other now, we can build a future where no one is left out or left behind, and everyone can share in the promise of America—which is big enough for everyone, not to be reserved for a few.” – Hillary Clinton, July 8, 2016
“Fifty years after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched and John Lewis bled, it’s hard to believe Americans are still forced to fight for their right to vote—especially in places where the civil rights movement fought so hard all those years ago.” – Hillary, October 17, 2015
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
I continue with my look at Hillary Clinton’s stance on the important issues facing our nation and the next president. Today I am looking, specifically, at item #4, Racial Equality. The full list of 38 items can be found in my first post of this series, Hillary Clinton – On The Issues (Part I – Labour and Worker’s Rights), Racial Equality.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
The Civil Rights Act of 1968 provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.”
There are many other pieces of legislation enacted to end discrimination and bring about racial equality in America during and since the 1960s, but these are the most prominent. So, racism no longer exists in America, right? Wrong. Not only does it still exist, but its ugly head is rising ever higher during this divisive and contentious election year. Government action, laws passed, are all essential to ending discrimination, but at its core, an end to racism must come from the hearts and minds of the nation’s citizenry. Small slights against people of minority races cannot be legislated away. That said, government cannot rest on its laurels and leave the issue of racial justice to ‘We The People’, for we shall almost certainly fail to act appropriately, left to our own devices. Hillary Clinton has put forth her ideas about what government can and should do to help bring equality to all races and an end to racial discrimination.
- Reform our broken criminal justice system by reforming sentencing laws and policies, ending racial profiling by law enforcement, strengthening the bonds of trust between communities and police, and more. Read more here.
- Protect the right to vote by fighting to repair the Voting Rights Act and implementing universal, automatic voter registration so that every American will be registered to vote when they turn 18, unless they opt out. Read more here.
- Protect immigrants’ rights and keep families together by fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, including a full and equal pathway to citizenship and an end to family detention and private immigrant detention centers. Read more here.
- End the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for young African American men—more than the next nine leading causes combined. We must do more to crack down on gun stores that flood our communities with illegal guns and deprive our children of their futures. Read more here.
- Fight against environmental injustice. Clean air and clean water are basic human rights. But too many children in low-income housing are exposed to lead. African American children are twice as likely to suffer from asthma as white children. Half of our nation’s Latino population lives in areas where the air quality does not meet the EPA’s health standards—and climate change will put vulnerable populations at even greater risk. As president, Hillary will work to reduce air pollution, invest in the removal of toxins like lead, develop greener and more resilient infrastructure, tackle energy poverty, and boost efforts to clean up highly polluted toxic sites.
- Close the education achievement gap by making sure every child has a world-class education from birth through college. Hillary will double America’s investment in Early Head Start, ensure that every 4-year-old in America has access to high-quality preschool, drive student achievement in K-12 schools, make college affordable, and relieve the crushing burden of student debt.
- End violence against the transgender community—particularly women of color. Read more here.
- Revitalize the economy in communities that have been left out and left behind through a “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda” that includes $125 billion in targeted investments to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity. Read more here.
- Ensure equal treatment for citizens in Puerto Rico. Hillary is committed to making sure Puerto Ricans have a voice and are treated equally. She believes that Puerto Ricans must be treated equally by Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that benefit families. She will also work with the people of Puerto Rico and with advocates from all sides to answer the fundamental question of their political status.
(Data taken from Hillary Clinton’s campaign website )
The results of racial inequality are devastating and divisive for our nation. Think of recent incidents just this year: the police shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and others, the protests, the killings of police officers in Baton Rouge and Dallas. These are the results, the price we pay for the arrogance of thinking that one race is somehow better than others, somehow more deserving of the fruits of our democracy. Our nation must have a strong leader who will stand firm to ensure that the existing laws are enforced with equality and to bring government together at the federal, state and local levels to end the divisiveness of racial discrimination.
There was a time when the word ‘racism’ was defined in the U.S. only by ill treatment of African-Americans, but that has changed. We now have notable numbers of Hispanic people, Asian people, and Middle Eastern people, some citizens, others immigrants. These people are also deserving of equal treatment, yet are more often than not the victims of discrimination and violence. There was a time when I believed that once such laws as the Civil Rights Acts and Voting Rights Act were enacted, people would step up to the plate, and within a generation or so, discrimination based on race would become a thing of the past. I am no longer so naive.
Racial equality must be comprised of two components, and laws are only one of those two. The other must come from the hearts and minds of the human race. Until we all learn to embrace and celebrate, rather than fear, the differences of different races, cultures, religions and beliefs, we will remain a nation divided. However, racial justice can and must be mandated by law, else racial tensions, riots and killings will not only continue, but will become more prevalent and more horrific in nature.
We should not need to talk about racial equality, for in truth, all races are equal. It is only in the minds of those who would deny truth that there is a difference. The next president will not, cannot, change the beliefs of people, cannot change the hearts and minds of people, but she can bring about a change in the way the law is administered. She can seek to hold those who educate accountable for providing a more open forum, a more inclusive environment to help future generations be more open-minded. In this, as in so many other critical areas, Hillary Clinton is the better qualified candidate than her opponent who has fed and fanned the flames of racism with his speech and actions.
An excellent article on the topic of racism in the U.S. can be found here at, of all places, Ben & Jerry’s website! Some good information, plus you can check out their ice cream flavour’s, an added bonus!