Hillary Clinton Kinda Feels Bad About What Happened In Ferguson Maybe

Former Secretary of State and current 2016 Democratic Freight Train Hillary Clinton finally broke her conspicuous silence on the events in Ferguson with four minutes of remarks that played it so safe, they made President Obama sound like Howard Beale.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
76
Former Secretary of State and current 2016 Democratic Freight Train Hillary Clinton finally broke her conspicuous silence on the events in Ferguson with four minutes of remarks that played it so safe, they made President Obama sound like Howard Beale.
hillary-clinton-benghazi_lightbox

Former Secretary of State and current 2016 Democratic Freight Train Hillary Clinton has been facingmounting criticism over her silence on the killing of Mike Brown, and its aftermath. On Thursday, Clinton finally broke her conspicuous silence on the events in Ferguson with four minutes of remarks that played it so safe, they made President Obama sound like Howard Beale. Even given his constraints with regard to the ongoing investigation, the President's remarks were leaps and bounds stronger than Clinton's, which were a Teflon-coated study in playing it safe.

She began by expressing empathy for the parents of Mike Brown, but in a bit of point-missing that would characterize her remarks, added that "losing a child is every parent's greatest fear and an unimaginable loss."

The point she missed, of course, is that losing a child in this manner, gunned down unarmed by police, is not every parent's greatest fear, but to those for whom it is, the parents of young black men and boys, it is an extremely imaginable loss. It's a loss that most black parents couldn't un-imagine if they tried.

In addressing the aftermath of the shooting, Clinton was just vague enough that people could know what she was talking about, but she could avoid explicitly denouncing the police. She talked about the "dramatic, terrible pictures on television," and noted that "Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone," but didn't explain why they looked like a war zone. As Clinton described it, the frayed "bonds of trust and respect" sounded like a two-way street, at best.

The only mention of violence was of "the community leaders that came out to protest peacefully and worked to restrain violence," while her only comments on the police in Ferguson were words of praise for "the many decent and respectful law enforcement officers who showed what quality law enforcement looks like. Men and women who serve and protect their communities with courage and professionalism, who inspire trust, rather than fear."

Hillary also took on the history of racist policing in Ferguson, but did so from the relatively safe ground of acknowledging racial disparities in our policing and justice system, without addressing the root causes of them.

However, in a sign that perhaps Hillary is somewhat wising up to her need not to completely alienate the Obama coalition she's going to need for 2016, Clinton praised President Obama, but again, i the safest of terms. "I applaud President Obama for sending the attorney general to Ferguson and demanding a thorough and speedy investigation, to find out what happened, to see that justice is done, to help this community begin healing itself," Clinton said. "We should all add our voices to those that have come together in recent days to work for peace, justice and reconciliation in Ferguson, and beyond, to stand against violence and for the values that we cherish. We can do better."

Then, in a particularly weird touch, Clinton wrapped up her speech, in which she had just referenced Martin Luther King Jr., by plugging the corporate sponsor of her speech. "So we have a lot of work to do together," she said. "At Nexenta, you say, better living for a better world. At the Clinton Foundation, we say, we're all in this together. If you put those together, it comes out to a pretty good road map for the future."

The only thing missing was a gospel choir behind her belting out "Na-biiiis-co!"

Her praise for President Obama was an encouraging post-hug-summit sign that Hillary Clinton realizes she needs to be careful abot alienating black voters, but waiting so long to comment on Ferguson, and then making such weak comments, is not so good. There are a lot of issues, particularly voting rights, that will make black voters turn out for the 2016 general election no matter what, but if Hillary gets a serious Democratic challenger, then this mess isn't going to cut it.

Here's video of Hillary Clinton's speech, followed by the transcript (via CNN):

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This summer, the eyes of our country and indeed the world have been focused on one community in the middle of the American heartland, Ferguson, Missouri. Watching the recent funeral for Michael Brown, as a mother, as a human being, my heart just broke for his family, because losing a child is every parent's greatest fear and an unimaginable loss.

But I also grieve for that community and for many like it across our country. Behind the dramatic, terrible pictures on television, are deep challenges that will be with them and with us long after the cameras move on. This is what happens when the bonds of trust and respect that hold any community together fray. Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in America. We are better than that.

We saw our country's true character in the community leaders that came out to protest peacefully and worked to restrain violence. The young people who insisted on having their voices heard and in the many decent and respectful law enforcement officers who showed what quality law enforcement looks like. Men and women who serve and protect their communities with courage and professionalism, who inspire trust, rather than fear. We need more of that, because we can do better.

We can't ignore the inequities that persist in our justice system that undermine our most deeply held values of fairness and equality. Imagine what he with 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; 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. 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.

I applaud President Obama for sending the attorney general to Ferguson and demanding a thorough and speedy investigation, to find out what happened, to see that justice is done, to help this community begin healing itself. We should all add our voices to those that have come together in recent days to work for peace, justice and reconciliation in Ferguson, and beyond, to stand against violence and for the values that we cherish. We can do better.

We can work to rebuild the bonds of trust from the ground up. It starts within families and communities. It was 51 years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr called us to live out true meaning of our creed, to make the dream real for all Americans. That mission is as fiercely urgent today as when he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the hot August sun all those years ago.

So we have a lot of work to do together. At Nexenta, you say, better living for a better world. At the Clinton Foundation, we say, we're all in this together. If you put those together, it comes out to a pretty good road map for the future. We need all of you, your energy and your efforts, your innovation, your building, your creating to help us achieve that better world.

Thank you all for having me here with you today.