Hillary Clinton says white Americans 'need to recognize our privilege'

By Ann Marie Awad   |   Feb. 16, 2016 at 7:04 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- In a speech in New York City's Harlem neighborhood Tuesday, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton discussed systemic racism and called on white Americans to do their part to "practice humility."

"White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers that you face every day," she told a crowd at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on Monday. "We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility, rather than assume that our experiences are everyone's experiences."

The speech was also to unveil her $2 billion plan to end the "school-to-prison pipeline," by creating "School Climate Support Teams," comprised of social workers, educators and behavioral health specialists who are placed in schools with high rates of in-school arrests.

"This is not just an education issue," she said. "This is a civil rights issue, and we cannot ignore it any longer. The bottom line is this: We need to be sending our kids to college. We need a cradle-to-college pipeline, not sending them into court and into prison."

The speech also took aim at voter ID laws that have become more prolific in recent years.

"Across our country, Republican governors and legislatures are erecting one barrier after another that make it harder for black people to vote," she said. "It's a blast from the Jim Crow past, and we need to call it for what it is."

The speech came after Clinton attended a closed-door meeting with black community leaders at the National Urban League Monday morning. The Rev. Al Sharpton was there, but neither would say whether Clinton would receive his endorsement.

Sharpton also met with Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., shortly after the New Hampshire primaries earlier this month.

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