Mary J. Blige's Hillary Clinton Interview Features An Important Conversation About Race — VIDEO
Mary J. Blige's new show The 411 from Beats 1 debuted on Friday, and if you saw that awkward teaser earlier in the week, you know her first guest was Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. In the clip, Blige sang Bruce Springsteen's "American Skin (41 Shots)" to Clinton, who looked emotional and also not really sure what she was supposed to do. But, thankfully, the rest of the 30-minute interview is nowhere near as awkward as that moment appeared to be when it was taken out of context. The song, in fact, leads to the most important moment of Blige and Clinton's interview, in which they talk about violence against black communities in America in the wake of so many shootings.
After she sings, Blige and Clinton are both visually emotional, and they grasp hands for a long time during the next portion of the interview. And the conversation that follows is important. Blige asks, "Where do we go from here?" Clinton responds, "I have been so heartbroken over what's been going on, because it's fundamentally at odds with and wrong that African-American parents have to sit their children down and deliver the message that you just sang: 'Be careful.'"
She continued, and explained the importance of compassion from white people:
We need to put ourselves in each other's shoes. Feel the pain that a mother and a father feel when their son and daughter can go out the door and they don't know what is going to happen to them. I particularly want white people to understand what that's like and to feel that they must be part of the solution.
Though she might not have mentioned it by name, Clinton's words bring to mind the "All Lives Matter" folks who dismiss and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement. "All lives matter" is a retort that takes the focus away from the entire purpose of Black Lives Matters, which draws attention to the fact that black lives, specifically, aren't being treated like they matter. White people have to stop saying "all lives matter" to really be a part of the solution. For a presidential candidate to put the responsibility on white people is a powerful move and a call for action.
In their interview, Blige and Clinton also talk about gun control, gun violence, and retraining police to eliminate systemic racial bias, as well as motherhood, religion, and breaking the glass ceiling in their 30-minute chat.
Image: Apple Music