Hillary Clinton has had heated exchanges with Black Lives Matters activists in the past year. Now she’s tweeting their name
Presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton faces criticism from one of her strongest opponents, and this time, it is not Donald Trump. After stumbling in her response to criticism and questions from Black Lives Matter activists, Clinton now appears to be embracing the movement. Last week she tweeted “Black Lives Matter” after violent events unfolded in Minnesota, Baton Rouge, and Dallas; but she didn’t hashtag it.
When asked whether Clinton now endorses the Black Lives Matter Movement, LaDavia Drane, her director of African American outreach, told AllDigitocracy that Clinton has incorporated some of the activists’ language and positions of into her policies.
“There are sections [in the criminal justice platform] on ending mass incarceration,” said Drane. “The Secretary [is] basically putting forth a plan to cut down mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offences.”
Young, black voters are most likely to view Clinton favorably, at 64 percent of voters 18 to 30 years old, according to a report this week by NPR. But these voters remain skeptical about Clinton, and about whether she takes their concerns seriously.
“I’m hoping that it’s an honest push towards actually understanding and actually embracing and not a political move,” said Davon Gaskins, a Black Lives Matter activist based in Philadelphia. “Because we see from Hillary’s track record that she’s undoubtedly an opportunist.”
With her most likely competitor, Trump, polling zero percent among black voters in some key battleground states, Clinton isn’t taking black voters for granted.
That’s likely why the former U.S. senator took the opportunity to speak before African American Methodist Episcopal Church leaders last Friday in Philadelphia, in a week that saw five Dallas police officers gunned down by a U.S. military veterans and two black men killed at the hands of police officers. Clinton needs to ensure these young black voters will show up at the polls in November.
“She came to the African American Methodist Episcopal Church and she used different rhetoric than we’ve seen her use before,” said Bruce Hardy, who teaches strategic communication at Temple University in Philadelphia. “She said ‘people like me versus people like you’ and I thought that was very interesting and effective. If she keeps that message going, I think it’ll serve her well in the Black and African American community.”
Continued use of speech, such as Hardy mentioned, could prove beneficial if Clinton intends to clinch the Midwestern and young African American vote, a demographic that strongly favored Senator Bernie Sanders during the primary season.
Listen to more of our interview with LaDavia Drane, Clinton’s director of African American Outreach and Black Lives Matter activist Davon Gaskins.