Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton kept her promise to visit the Charlotte community after a black police officer shot and killed a black man after he refused to follow orders to disarm.
“I’m a grandmother, and like every grandmother I worry about the safety and security of my grandchildren, but my worries are not the same as black grandmothers,” Clinton said.
Clinton spoke at the Little Rock A.M.E. Church in Charlotte a week after she had to cancel a scheduled appearance after the Democratic mayor of the city publicly asked her to wait.
Clinton admitted that her grandchildren didn’t share the same fears as black Americans because of their white privilege.
“[B]ecause my grandchildren are white, because they are the grandchildren of a former president and secretary of state, let’s be honest here – they won’t face the kind of fear that we heard from the young children testifying before the city council,” she said.
She brought Charlotte girl Zianna Oliphant to the stage, after she made headlines by testifying at the city council about her fears of growing up as a black girl in America.
“You know, God loves us all, right?” she asked her. “We are called to care for and cherish each other. It’s not easy, it is not.”
Clinton specifically referred to the shooting of Trayvon Martin, one of the first shootings that sparked protests from black Americans, insisting that he was just “walking home from the store with iced tea and Skittles.”
She also quoted scripture, opening her speech with the Book of Psalms. “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” she said.
She cited Proverbs, telling the audience, “where there is no vision, the people perish” and St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
But Clinton also quoted her campaign slogan, calling for everyone in the Charlotte community to be “stronger together.”
“Being stronger together with this common vision means rejecting those forces that try to pit us against each other,” she said. We can acknowledge that implicit bias still exists, not just in police departments but throughout our country, without vilifying police officers.”