A transcript of a meeting Hillary Clinton held on October 9, 2015 with Black Lives Matter activists was including in the WikiLeaks release of John Podesta’s emails. It reveals a sometimes tense event during which Clinton said systemic racism is “the original sin of our founders.”
The October 2015 meeting was kept under wraps by the Clinton campaign, who withheld a list of attendees or quotes from the meeting. The day of the meeting Hillary tweeted out, “Racism is America’s original sin. To those I met with today, thank you for sharing your ideas.” This was in response to Aurielle Marie tweeting, “I want a president who will call racism ‘america’s cardinal sin’ IN PUBLIC. & not just a private meeting with young black radicals.”
The transcript of the meeting sent from Clinton staffer Varun Anand to various members on her campaign staff show that Hillary did indeed meet with “young black radicals.”
During one part of the meeting, Clinton said that affirmative action had worked to which an attendee said, “You know affirmative action pretty much helps white women not people of color.”
“That is not my understanding. That is certainly not my understanding. At all. I would be happy to look into it, but that is not my understanding,” Clinton replied. The attendee was insistent and said, “it ultimately ended up benefiting white women.”
“See I taught at the University of Arkansas Law School. And I taught a lot of black students who were admitted on affirmative action and who needed a lot of help,” Clinton replied. The Democratic presidential nominee added, “And they would not have been there but for affirmative action.”
— deray mckesson (@deray) October 9, 2015
One attendee in the meeting told Hillary, “And so we can’t have a conversation about eradicating police issues without talking about eradicating implicit bias and eradicating anti-blackness within the DNA code of policing.”
In her response, Hillary said, “All I can tell you is that I have worked on, spoken out against, and will continue to do everything I know to do — and I would welcome your advice about how best to do it — against the sort of systemic racism that still stalks our country. It is the original sin of our founders.”
The activists in the meeting repeatedly called for a New Deal that targets black communities. “This idea that we need to acknowledge America’s original sin, as you put it, right? What does that actually mean in terms of how you talk about the issues and like the platform that you will eventually release? Because we would say, is a color blind platform erases us, because it actually does not speak to the lives of black people,” one attendee said according to the leaked transcript.
In response, Clinton referred to a “three legged stool” of the federal government, private businesses, and local communities. She added, “I would also look for what we can do from the federal level on tax credits, and formulas, and support for the kind of New Deal that was mentioned, and look for any executive action that I can take. I do not know what that would be.”
The attendees were hostile with Clinton at points. “I think that you’re really speaking for a place of privilege without acknowledging that you’re speaking from a place of privilege, and that’s just not okay,” one female attendee told Hillary. She would later interrupt Clinton’s response to which Hillary said, “Let me finish. I listened to you.”
At multiple points during the meeting the activists said that police don’t make communities safe. “One of the things that you said, that the police are a critical part of keeping communities safe. I think many of us at this table would disagree,” one attendee said. At other time an attendee said, “We’re saying that the police don’t, like, in general, don’t actually make people feel safe.”
One activist also felt that police shouldn’t arrest a nine and an eleven year old with a TEC-9 firearm. The attendee said instead, “The thing that you would do would be have a conversation, let’s try to talk to a counselor, let me get this gun away from you.”
Clinton disagreed with the attendees when it came to these views on police and handling criminals. “But I respectfully disagree that there’s not a role for good, smart, empathetic policing. I just disagree because I don’t know — I mean, we’ve been around on this earth for a really long time and there are lots of reasons why people act out or why people do things that harm somebody else,” Clinton said at one point.
During another moment an attendee suggested that someone who murdered a transgender black person shouldn’t be arrested. Instead the activist said they would tell the murderer “I loved them.”
“There are some bad people in the world. I am sorry; there are some bad people in the world,” Clinton said in response. The Democratic presidential nominee added, “But there are bad people, and bad people should not be allowed to hurt innocent people who are just going about their lives. So we have to make those distinctions. That is all I am saying.”
The Daily Caller has reached out to the Clinton campaign to see if they dispute the accuracy of the transcript. They have not replied.