Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hillary News & Views 12.2: Rosa Parks and the Ongoing Fight for Civil Rights in America

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton's keynote speech at an event commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Rosa Parks leading the Montgomery Bus Boycott. 

The Montgomery Advertiser reports:
"We each need to do the hard work of rebuilding our bonds with one another," Clinton said Tuesday at an event honoring the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. "This isn’t just about strengthening ties between police and citizens, although that is very important. It’s about strengthening ties across society, between neighbors and colleagues, even among those with whom we profoundly disagree."
Clinton said she wanted to rebuild the bonds between law enforcement and communities, and also wanted to end "era of mass incarceration in the United States."
"There are still too many Americans, especially too many African-Americans whose experience of the justice system is not what it should be," she said. "There are too many ways our laws and policies fall short of ideals."
Clinton said voting rights were important to the "dignity" of every person, and echoed Sewell's concerns about the driver's license office issue, but did not outline any remedies on that or criminal justice. Instead, she spoke broadly about the need to bring Americans closer together.
"It may be unusual to hear a presidential candidate say we need more love and kindness, but that is what we need right now," Clinton said, quoting Martin Luther King's statement that "justice is love correcting that which would work against love."
"Let us go forth today, challenged to do our part that this generation will see the work of justice and equality, as well as love and kindness," she said. "I look forward to being your partner in the years ahead."

Opelika-Auburn News reports:
Clinton served as the keynote speaker for Tuesday’s event celebrating the role of lawyers in the Montgomery Bus Boycott hosted by the National Bar Association and the Tuskegee History Center, one of many events commemorating the boycott’s 60th anniversary. 

“They knew that segregation was a distortion of justice, not an obstruction of it. They also knew that sometimes, law makers get it wrong,” she said. “And when that happens, it’s up to lawyers and judges to make it right. That’s what many lawyers felt then, and that’s what many lawyers feel now. Our work isn’t finished. We do have to pay it forward. There are still injustices perpetrated every day across our country, sometimes in spite of the law, sometimes, unfortunately, in keeping with it.”
“…A lot of DMV offices in every single county where African Americans make up more than 75 percent of registered voters were closed. Now that would make getting drivers licenses and personal ID cards much harder, which, in turn, would make voting much harder too. The right to vote is so fundamental to our democracy. But it’s also about people’s dignity,” Clinton said.

“There is something profoundly wrong when African American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms for doing the same things as a white man,” she said, noting 1.5 million black men are incarcerated. “There is something profoundly wrong when a third of all black men face the prospect of prison during their lifetimes."
“After the first day of the bus boycott 60 years ago, that evening, thousands of people were jammed in the streets and inside the church when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stepped to the pulpit,” Clinton said. “To go back and read what he said that night, of course he spoke about Rosa’s integrity, about citizenship, about fairness under the law. And then, he started talking about love. Love, he said, is one of the pinnacle parts of the Christian faith. And there is another side called justice.
Time reports:
Sixty years after Rosa Parks refused to stand up on a Montgomery bus for a white man, Hillary Clinton travelled to Alabama Tuesday to call for an end to discriminatory laws in the United States.
“I thought we’d solved that problem,” Clinton said in the church, referring to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. “But unfortunately there is mischief afoot. Some people are just determined to to do what they can to keep other Americans from voting.”
Clinton has called for a number of measures meant to roll back voting restrictions proposed in Republican states. She has proposed for universal and automatic voter registration, requiring states to automatically register citizens to vote when they turn 18. Clinton also supports a 20-day early in-person voting nationwide, and legislation to restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was partially struck down by the Supreme Court.
In a wide-ranging interview that aired yesterday, Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to ground troops in Syria, dismissed criticism about her donations from and connections to Wall Street, and reflected on the importance of this election.

CBS News reports her comments on…

ISIS:
Sticking by President Obama's current strategy, the former secretary of state said she could not "conceive of any circumstances" where she would agree to send American combat troops to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
"We don't know yet how many Special Forces... trainers and surveillance and enablers might be needed," Clinton told Rose at the Hay Adams, across the White House. "But in terms of thousands of combat troops like some on the Republican side are recommending... it should be a non-starter, both because I don't think it's the smartest way to go after ISIS - I think it gives ISIS a new recruitment tool if we get back in the fight."
Russia:
Clinton also emphasized the importance of getting over "the false choice between either going after Assad or going after ISIS," by bringing in the Russians.

"You know, the Russians have now paid a big price," Clinton said, referring to the downed Russian jet in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, for which ISIS claimed responsibility. "I think you say, 'Look, we need your - if not your active help - your acquiescence in what we're going after ISIS.' So that means you're going to have to pull back from this area while we go after their leadership and their economic infrastructure."
Another key strategy Clinton advocates is a no-fly zone over northern Syria. When asked about a possible Russian invasion of the no-fly zone, Clinton said that would not be possible because the Russians will be "clearly kept informed" about the area.

"I want them at the table. They don't have to participate in it, but I want them to understand that there has to be safe areas on the ground," she said.
Libya:

"We need to join together right now before they get a stronghold and work to eliminate ISIS in Sirte. And it is something that is going to require a lot of cooperation," Clinton said. "There are armed groups that are fighting for power within Libya that are not in any way identified with or allied with ISIS. They need to form even a loose confederation to try to push ISIS literally into the sea before they get a stronghold."
Wall Street connections:
"The fact is, I saw a lot of people when I was secretary of state. And I worked really hard to increase exports from American businesses. I saw a lot of business people. I saw a lot of union leaders. I saw as many people as I could fit in the day who needed something from their government," Clinton said.
She recounted when FedEx CEO Fred Smith would call her up and say, "The Chinese government's taking away our permits. We've been in China for decades doing Federal Express." Or Corning, a company that she knew well from her time in the Senate, would tell her, "They're trying to put a tariff on us that is going to drive us out of business."

"I worked really hard to get more jobs for Americans, and that meant representing big business and small business and everybody in between," Clinton added.

"I have stood for a lot of regulation on big banks and on the financial services sector. I also represented New York and represented everybody from the dairy farmers to the fishermen...And so, yes, do I know people? And did I help rebuild after 9/11? Yes, I did," Clinton said.
Making history:
Clinton has led a remarkable career, but she's not running for president, she said, to make history and be the first female president.
"I mean, that's all-- that would all be an extra, added part of it. But for me, I really love this country," Clinton said. "And I think this will be one of those watershed elections where we're either going to get the economy to work for everybody, or we are going to see increasing inequality and unfairness in a way that we haven't seen since, you know, the 1920s."
"We're either going to figure out how to live together despite all of our differences, show respect for people, enforce human rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, workers' rights, or we're going to really have the balance shift dramatically against the kind of democracy that I believe in, that I think works best for America," she said. "And we're either going to lead around the world, or we're going to take a back seat and pay a big price for it."

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