2020 Democratic candidate Kirsten Gillibrand said Wednesday evening that as a white woman, she can take on the “issues of institutional racism” just as well as candidates of color.
Wednesday’s presidential debate turned to the topic of racism in the U.S. The moderators asked candidates what they would do to heal racial divide in the country. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee first brought up that he “has never been a black teenager pulled over in a white neighborhood.”
Sen. Gillibrand of New York followed shortly after by explaining how being a white woman of privilege gives her a unique ability to help racism in America. (RELATED: Gillibrand Reveals First Major Policy Proposal: Give Voters Money To Donate)
“I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of [Sens.] Cory [Booker of New Jersey] and Kamala [Harris of California] to be the only voice that take on these issues of institutional racism. … I think as a white woman of privilege who is a U.S. senator running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren’t being listened to,” Gillibrand said.
“And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for [President Donald] Trump and explain to them what white privilege is — that when their son is walking down the street with a bag of M&M’s wearing a hoodie, his whiteness protects him from not being shot,” she said.
“When their child has a car that breaks down and he knocks on someone’s door for help and the door opens and the help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot,” Gillibrand continued Wednesday. “That is what white privilege in America is today. My responsibility is to not only lift up those stories but explain to communities across America.”
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