Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.24: "Mothers of the Movement," SC Town Hall, Standing with HBCUs

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with a powerful day on the campaign trail with incredibly strong women. 
The Washington Post reports:
“Something is very wrong when we have these incidents where kids can get arrested for petty crimes and lose their lives,” Clinton said. “Something is wrong when African Americans are three times more likely to be denied a mortgage as white people are, when the median wealth of black families is just a fraction of the median wealth for white families,” Clinton said.
Clinton sat silently as one after the other, the five mothers told the stories of their children’s deaths, and about why they are backing Clinton’s presidential bid.  The unusual campaign event was part testimonial, part memorial, part call to action against what Clinton called lax gun laws designed to shield gun makers and dealers.
“I was never into politics but now I am, and one of the reasons is because of her,” said Sybrina Fulton, whose unarmed teenaged son Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighbor in Florida in 2012.
Clinton, sitting to Fulton’s left, rubbed her shoulder as she spoke.
Clinton was also joined by Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in her jail cell in Texas after a traffic stop last year; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, who died in a police chokehold in New York in 2014; Maria Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, shot by a police officer in Milwaukee in 2014; and Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, a Florida teen shot in 2012 by a man who had complained about loud music coming from the car the boy was riding in.
“I say to you, if Eric Garner was a white man, standing on the corner in the suburbs,” he would not have been killed, Carr said. “We cannot take this anymore. We have to get up and do something about it.”
The same group of women spoke to audiences on Clinton’s behalf across South Carolina on Monday and Tuesday. They all were among a group of women who met privately with Clinton last year in a session several of them described as emotional.
“I endorse her because she endorsed us first,” Carr said to applause.
“We have nine months to put her in” the White House. “She’s the new baby,” Reed-Veal said.
Mashable reports:
She also had a message specifically for white Americans, calling on them to show more empathy for the problems plaguing black communities across America.
"Tackling and ending systemic racism requires contributions from all of us. White Americans, we need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers they face every day," Clinton said. "We need to recognize our privilege and practice humility rather than assume our experiences are everyone's experiences."
Clinton introduced the women, calling them "the mothers of the movement, who have suffered as no mother ever should."
“That’s too many deaths, too many young lives cut short, too many questions still unanswered,” Clinton said, after introducing each mother.
"When we met with her, she walked in as a secretary, she walked in as a political figure, she walked in as a presidential candidate," Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, said. "But she walked out as a compassionate mother, as a compassionate grandmother, as a compassionate wife."
"When no other candidate would listen to us, Ms. Clinton did," Fulton said.

Here are some of the highlights from last night’s Town Hall.

CNN reports:
On whether she would release transcripts of speeches she's given when other candidates were unlikely to do so themselves: "Why is there one standard for me and not for everybody else?"
To an African-American woman who said she was looked at differently because of her hair: "You have a right to wear your hair any way you want to. That's your right. As somebody who, ya know, has had a lot of different hairstyles, I say that from some personal experience."
On what she got from attending a women's college: "We ran the student government, we ran the newspaper, we ran the yearbook, we ran all the activities, so it was a great leadership opportunity."
Reassuring supporters concerned about her email server controversy: "The facts are that every single time somebody has hurled these charges against me, which they have done, it has proved to be nothing."
On whether she would lie in the future (after giving an indirect answer to a similar question last week): "I'll just say, 'No!'"
On the healing power of forgiveness: "I could not be standing here if I had not been forgiven many times and if I had not been able to forgive, myself, those who I thought had in some way disappointed or wronged me."
Clinton wrote a powerful op-ed for BET about investing in HBCUs, co-written with Tennessee State University president Glenda Glover:
If we want to restore the basic bargain of America — that if you work hard, you can get ahead — the most important step we can take is to produce more college graduates. The typical college graduate earns more than half a million dollars extra over the course of his or her life compared to a high school graduate, and the unemployment rate for college graduates is less than half what it is for high school graduates. The United States has made enormous progress over the last half-century in opening the doors of higher education to millions of Americans. Yet, there remains a persistent racial gap in who completes college. For students who enter college, white students are one and half times more likely to graduate within six years than Black students. In fact, less than 4 in 10 Black students who start college finish within six years. Black students are also much more likely to have to take a remedial course, work part-time while in college, and attend a two-year instead of a four-year college.
As a presidential candidate and the president of an HBCU, we are committed to partnering together to increase the college completion rates of African-Americans in order to expand opportunities and extend the American Dream to hundreds of thousands of more students each year. A key ingredient in this work will be supporting our Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
For millions of African-American college graduates in America, HBCUs have provided a pathway to the middle class. HBCUs graduate about half of Black teachers in America, large numbers of Black scientists and engineers, and one in three Black college graduates with degrees in biology and math. They do this while serving a population in which more than two-thirds of students receive Pell Grants, a demonstration of how they expand opportunity, even with limited resources, to new corners of society. But HBCUs cannot continue to offer this pathway to the middle class without real resources for their institutions and for their students.
First, we need to provide HBCUs with the funding they need to keep creating educational pathways for under-served students and improve their retention and graduation rates. We’re calling on everyone who cares about higher education to support a proposal that will make new direct investments in public colleges and universities, including public HBCUs, to make sure that those students at public HBCUs never have to take out a loan to pay tuition for a four-year degree and never have to pay a dime for tuition for a two-year degree. And because public HBCUs serve an above-average proportion of Pell Grant recipients, they will receive comparatively more federal funding under the compact, all while students can direct Pell Grant funding to living expenses. And for private HBCUs, the compact makes up to $25 billion available for HBCUs and MSIs. These funds will not only reduce attendance costs but improve support services that can be so critical to student success in college. 
Second, we need to take steps that remove obstacles for students who are working to get an education. That means making sure that the student loan program serves student interests by cutting interest rates so that the federal government does not make a profit, and it means making sure we examine ways to open the Pell Grant program so students can continue to take the classes they need to progress toward graduation throughout the year. It also means expanding on-campus child care and scholarships for students who are also parents, and it means working with states and institutions to ease credit-transfer policies and extend advising resources to smooth the pathway from a two-year degree to a four-year degree, a pathway that HBCUs are well-placed to provide. And it means ensuring that graduates know that after they leave school, they will never have to repay more than 10 percent of their income in a year and, should they work in a public field for 10 years, are eligible for public service loan forgiveness.  
Finally, we need to recognize and affirm the role that HBCUs play in producing such impressive graduates for our country. It is time for the resources and leadership to ensure that all HBCUs can thrive in the 21st century. Thriving HBCUs will produce a new generation of leaders, strengthening our communities, our economy, and our country.
Meanwhile, Sanders has gone full conspiracy theory, sounding quite a bit like his tiresome army of social media harassers.

Daily News Bin reports:
After spending the first six months of this election running a clean and respectful campaign of ideas which endeared him to many democrats whether they were planning to vote for him or not, Bernie Sanders is now sounding a lot like the online trolls who support his campaign. They’ve become infamous for scouring the internet and social media for any mention of Sanders or Clinton, so they can praise his integrity while spreading simplistic lies and bizarre conspiracy theories about her. Anyone who criticizes their inappropriate behavior is accused of being part of the “establishment” or of having been secretly paid off by Clinton. The behavior of the loudest Sanders supporters has become an internet punchline that’s hurt him, and now Bernie has begun talking like one of them.
By simply saying “Let me guess, they were organized by the Clinton campaign,” Sanders was able to avoid addressing the factual criticisms of his proposals that were levied this week by some of the world’s top economists. Immediately, his online supporters traced the entire personal and professional history of the four respected economists to see if they could find any tangential connection to the Clintons, and managed to come up with some wild conspiracies to support Bernie’s generic accusations. While mainstream voters will certainly be turned off by Bernie’s trolling tactics, at least now his rhetoric is in line with the internet trolls who support him.
Sanders also hit Clinton on Gitmo, showing his typical disregard for facts and his own record.

CNN reports:
Bernie Sanders attacked Hillary Clinton's record on the detention center at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday, just after President Barack Obama delivered his blueprint for the controversial military prison's closure.
But Sanders himself has voted against shuttering the U.S. military facility in Cuba.
And unlike Clinton, he has not signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would have led to the closure of the facility, otherwise known as Gitmo.
In a news release Tuesday morning, the Sanders campaign said, "Sanders was one of only three senators to vote in 2007 against barring the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to America. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton voted for the amendment that kept the prison open."
That appears to be a reference to a 2007 non-binding "sense of the Senate" measure stating that Guantanamo Bay detainees "should not be released into American society, nor should they be transferred stateside into facilities in American communities and neighborhoods."
Also opposing that measure was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who that year authored legislation that would have closed the Guantanamo Bay facility and directed detainees there to be transferred to a U.S. detention facility, to an international tribunal or to another country for legal proceedings there.
Clinton co-sponsored that legislation -- Sanders did not.
Two years later, in 2009, with Clinton serving as Obama's secretary of state, Sanders broke with his fellow Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, on another Guantanamo Bay-related measure.
That vote, like the one Sanders criticized Clinton for casting, was overwhelming -- a 90-to-6 vote to block Obama's request for funds to shutter the facility in Cuba until the President laid out plans for what to do with the then-240 detainees there.
Sanders was among the 90 opponents of Obama on that measure; Leahy was among the six supporters.
Clinton strongly supports the President on his Gitmo closure.

Washington Times reports:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she backed President Obama’s effort to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center but stressed the terrorist suspects would not necessarily be transferred to a military jail here.
“The president hasn’t made any decisions about where the transfers will go,” Mrs. Clinton said on a CNN candidates’ forum here, making a pitch for votes ahead of the Palmetto State primary Saturday.
“The president is trying to figure out what to do with people who are too dangerous to be released,” Mrs. Clinton said. “All I can hope is that the Congress will work with him.”
“I’ve been on record being in favor of closing Guantanamo for a long time,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that she agreed with Mr. Obama that the detention center served as a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations that point to it as an example of the West’s abuses again Islam.
“We don’t need to have Guantanamo hanging out there over our heads,” said Mrs. Clinton.
Antonio French has joined the Clinton team.

St. Louis American reports:
The American: What strategies do you have in mind to mobilize the black vote in St. Louis and Missouri?
Antonio French: What we know is that African Americans overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton. We've known Hillary for decades. We know she's with us on important issues. We know that she's a fighter. Our challenge, as in most elections, is to make sure that our people show up to the polls to make sure their voices are heard. We will spend the next few weeks before the March 15 primary election reminding people: 1) there is an election and 2) this is an important election because the stakes are so high. We can't afford to send anyone short of our very best into the November election, and Hillary Clinton is our best. This is no time to be playing around.
The American: In early primaries, Sanders voters are skewing young. Do you have strategies in mind for swaying younger voters?
Antonio French: This image that the Sanders campaign has pushed that he is the candidate of choice for young people only holds up if his definition of "young people" ignores young black people. In every contest so far, young black people have chosen Hillary Clinton. I am confident that will be the case here Missouri too. Why? Because we know Hillary. We know how important this election is. We know that our issues require real solutions, not empty campaign promises.
The American: Ferguson mobilized young black people in a way that we have never seen before in this region. To what extent is that energy still in play? What strategies do you have to harness it for Clinton?
Antonio French: I think it's undeniable that the Black Lives Matter Movement, which really rose to global prominence here in St. Louis in 2014, has pushed both Democratic campaigns to address our issues on a scale we have not seen in this country in decades. Hillary Clinton has talked about identifying and dismantling systemic racism. She has talked about the violence plaguing our communities – from unaccountable police departments like in Ferguson, but also from criminals killing our youth at high rates. She believes Black lives do matter. She says the names of the victims. She gets it. And she's our best chance for continuing the progress on these issues. That's the case we'll be making in the weeks before March 15th and all the way through to the November election. This election is too important.
Melissa McEwan writes for Shakesville:
At least once a day, someone brings up to me—favorably or unfavorably—something Clinton has said or done, and I'm like, "Yep, I wrote about that," and whip out a link. (Because I'm also a lint trap.)

Case in point: Just earlier today, someone mentioned to me the time Clinton said she would not channel her husband, and I was like here 'tis!

Despite that, I'm routinely approached from go as someone who hasn't done her research.

(And I'm certainly not the only one subjected to this shit. See also, as but one example: Susan Sarandon hectoring Dolores Huerta, as if she's new.)

I've done my research. I've been doing this for a minute.

And experience tells me that not only do I know more about the candidate I support than you do, I very likely know more about your candidate than you do.


  1. The mothers were so incredibly powerful. I can't remember anything in a campaign that comes close to it. And they support Hillary - can't imagine anything better.