Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton finally weighed in on the Ferguson crisis Thursday, siding largely with the protestors by suggesting American police are racist and claiming “we cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system.”
A likely Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2016, Hillary stayed mum for weeks on the shooting of an unarmed black man and the resultant race riots in Ferguson, Missouri.
But with the riots now subsiding — and with criticism from some on her left increasing — Clinton decided to make a statement on the controversy while speaking at a technology expo in San Francisco.
“This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray,” she asserted, in a video broadcast by CNN. “Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone. Not in America. We are better than that.”
Clinton offered a few token words for the “many decent and respectful law enforcement officers who showed what quality law enforcement looks like.” But the main thrust of her speech let little doubt as to where her sympathies lie.
“We need that, because we can do better,” she claimed. “We cannot ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system, inequities that undermine our most deeply-held values of fairness and equality.”
“Imagine what we would feel, and what we would do, if white drivers were three times as likely to be searched by police during a traffic stop as black drivers, instead of the other way around,” Clinton continued. “If white offenders received prison sentences 10 percent longer than black offenders for the same crimes.”
“If a third of all white men — just look at this room and take one-third — went to prison during their lifetime,” she went on. “Imagine that. That is the reality in the lives of so many of our fellow Americans, and so many of the communities in which they live.”
She even ended by invoking Dr. Martin Luther King, calling his mission “as fiercely urgent today as when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the hot August sun all those years ago.”