Hillary Clinton Comments On Ferguson, And It's Fair, Assertive, And Powerful
When commenting on a subject as loaded as Ferguson, it's easy to slip into a diatribe. Many politicians and pundits have talked about Ferguson with anger, condemning the country's inherent racial divide, criticizing police brutality, and pointing fingers. But not Hillary. Hillary Clinton commented on Ferguson at a technology summit in San Francisco on Thursday, weighing in on the incident for the first time. Unlike commentators before her, Clinton expertly delivered a calm but assertive speech, addressing important underlying issues without assigning blame.
Clinton was the keynote speaker at this year's Nexenta OpenSDx Summit, an annual forum for the tech industry's leading executives. The former secretary of state took to the podium to address major tech-related issues, such as surveillance and data collection, but at the end of her speech, she switched gears to a very different topic. In her first public comments on the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, which occurred nearly three weeks ago, Clinton delicately broached the subject and talked about the country's prevalent inequities fairly and without contempt.
Her bottom line? America is better than that. Let's face it, Clinton is a likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and if her diplomatic statement on Ferguson is any indication, then she should be equipped to handle even the most contentious issues with presidential grade. Here's what she told the crowd.
Speaking as a Mother
First and foremost, the incident was a family tragedy. At the core of the political, racial, and historical discourse is a family that lost their son.
Just One Community Of Many
Clinton points out that Ferguson may be in the news now, but it's just one community of many that could easily have taken its place. The larger implications that have allowed for Ferguson to occur are pervasive, Hillary said, and will still exist after the dust settles in Missouri.
America Is Better Than That
The police's heavy presence and use of military equipment made Ferguson look like a war-torn place far from the image that America prides itself on.
Exemplary Characters on Both Sides
Clinton is careful to point out that leaders from both sides of the debate stepped up to set an example for the rest of America.
The Racial Double Standard
Of course, it's impossible to talk about Ferguson without mentioning the underlying racial issues that have formed glaring double standards.
Backing Up Obama
Clinton, who recently criticized Obama's foreign policy mantra, was 100 percent on board with the president's handling of Ferguson.
Looking to the Future by Looking at the Past
By referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Clinton is reminding us that his mission has not been fully realized; that, together, we can work toward that goal.
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