During one of the most open discussions yet about race among Democratic presidential candidates, front-runner Hillary Clinton delivered a heartfelt answer to a Black woman’s question about how she would repair race relations in post-Ferguson America.
The college student, Kyla Gray, asked the question at Tuesday’s CNN Democratic Town Hall in South Carolina. She noted that people began to treat her differently when she started wearing her hair natural, noting the problem has become more pronounced after Black Lives Matter protests erupted over police brutality.
The former secretary of state said White Americans need to be more sensitive to the possibility their experiences sometimes “may not equip us to understand” challenges blacks experience. Clinton, who for years has gotten unsolicited critiques over her own hair, also told the woman, “You have the right to wear your hair any way you want to,” and that she spoke as “as somebody who has had a lot of different hairstyles.”
A relative of one of the victims of last year’s shooting at [Emanuel AME] in Charleston asked [Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders] whether he would allow people to openly carry guns in houses of worship or let teachers and staff carry guns at schools. Sanders said while he would not be comfortable with that, those were often state issues. At the federal level, he said politicians must do all possible to “expand and improve” instant background checks on gun purchases.
The town hall came ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary, where winning Black voters in the state is an important step in the race for the nomination. As a result, Sanders, who has been critical of President Obamain the past, found himself praising the outgoing commander-in-chief, reports CNN:
Sanders accused Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump and others of fomenting a “racist effort” to delegitimize President Barack Obama. Sanders portrayed the “birther” controversy that Trump pushed during Obama’s first term as part of a Republican strategy to thwart his presidency, based on the mantra “obstruct, obstruct, obstruct.”
“We have been dealing in the last seven years with an unprecedented level of obstructionism against President Obama,” Sanders said.
The candidates are also preparing for Super Tuesday next week. It is the single most important day for presidential candidates to receive delegates, the result of voting in 12 early voting states and one U.S. territory.