Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Monday that “as a white person,” she has a duty to discuss systemic racism in America every chance she gets.
During an MSNBCtown hall moderated by Rachel Maddow, Mrs. Clinton was asked by a young black lawyer how as president she planned to address systemic racism “that creates a glass ceiling for many 20-somethings.”
“We are still facing and struggling with systemic racism,” Mrs. Clinton responded. “It’s true in employment and promotion and other job opportunities. It’s true in education. It’s true in health care. It’s true in the criminal justice system. That’s why I talk about breaking down all the barriers. We have economic barriers, to be sure. But we have very entrenched barriers of discrimination.”
The former secretary of state then listed what she would do to combat the issue.
“No. 1, we have to talk about it more,” Mrs. Clinton said. “And as a white person, I have to talk about it more and say that we are not a postracial society. We still struggle with racism, and it is not only wrong, but it is holding us back. Because for every young woman like yourself — ready, willing, able to get to work, who is held back — that not only hurts you, it hurts us. We want as productive a society as possible.
“We have to use the bully pulpit, which I intend to use, to speak out about systemic racism every chance I get,” she added.
Mrs. Clinton said there is also a lot of sexism, “and people still are not being treated fairly based on gender, based on race.”
“So, I want to enforce the laws,” she said. “I want to make it clear that this is unacceptable. I want to speak out about it, and then I want to call people into the White House. Because one of the great powers of the president is to be the convener in chief, bring people in, and say, ‘You’ve got do more, and here are ideas that we have that have worked.’ And you have to try to implement those, and that’s exactly what I intend to do, because I don’t want to see any young person held back because of any of these barriers.”
A Princeton PhD, was a U.S. diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Central/Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. After leaving the State Department in order to express opposition to the planned invasion of Iraq, he taught courses at Georgetown University pertaining to the tension between propaganda and public diplomacy. For many years he shared ideas on the theme "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" with Eurasian/European delegates participating in the "Open World" program.
Brown’s articles have appeared in numerous publications. A recent piece is “Janus-Faced Public Diplomacy: Creel and Lippmann During the Great War” (published in Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future; now online).
He is the author (with S. Grant) of The Russian Empire and the USSR: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States (also online). In the past century, he served as an editor/translator of a joint U.S.-Soviet publication, The Establishment of Russian-American Relations, 1765-1815.