Last week Hillary Clinton spoke with Daunasia Yancey and Julius Jones of Black Lives Matter after a town hall meeting, from which Yancey and Jones were prevented from entering by Clinton’s security. Video from the encounter is now available and it must be seen — Clinton is in politician mode but with her usual lack of political talents. I want to briefly note what I think is the most important element to take away from the encounter — Clinton’s lack and desire to lack an understanding of the Black Lives Matter movement, and why their goals and methods are appropriate.
Clinton says, “don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate”. This completely dismisses and misunderstands the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been criticized for not proposing reforms when they very obviously do not intend to, precisely because their goal is only to win hearts – and this is exactly the method they must take if they want to succeed. The activists of Black Lives Matter know their history, they know that without changing hearts, another structure of oppression will be created to replace the last and racism will be used to justify it – Jim Crow laws quickly replaced slavery because though laws were changed hearts were not changed, and the mass incarceration apparatus quickly replaced Jim Crow because though laws were changed hearts were not changed. If we do not change hearts we are doomed to institute another system of oppression upon black folk. We need to work very hard to change hearts. Either Hillary Clinton does not understand the history of capitalism as bane to all who are not of the power elite, or she understands this and accepts the sequential systems of black oppression in America.