Hillary Clinton Addresses Charleston, Race Relations During Campaign Stop in Ferguson

Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images
The 2016 president hopeful spoke on the importance of racial equality and called for the permanent removal of the Confederate flag

As Hillary Clinton's campaign trail continues to heat up, the 2016 presidential hopeful made a pitstop today at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant, Mo., a Black church three miles north of Ferguson.

Speaking to a crowd of 250, she spoke on last week's shooting in Charleston, the universal removal of the Confederate flag, what she called "common-sense gun reform" and equal opportunity for youths.

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"Whether you live in Ferguson or West Baltimore, in coal country or Indian country, you should have the same chance as any American anywhere to get ahead and stay ahead," she said.

Clinton, who in 2007 pushed for the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol, commended state officials who, in recent days, have expressed their disapproval of the flag. Taking a moment to remember the nine victims from last week's shooting, she admitted that racial struggles were far from over.

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"That night, word of the killings struck like a blow to the soul," said Clinton, who said it was important that we ensure that the victims did not die in vain. "How do we make sense of such an evil act? An act of racist terrorism perpetrated in a House of God? How do we turn grief, anger and despair into purpose and action?"

The way, she said, was providing equal opportunity to the nation's youth and giving each child a fair chance. 

"I saw lives change because an abusive marriage ended or an illegal eviction stopped," she said. "I know what personal kindness, commitment and public programs can do." 

She urged for universal preschool and for all Americans to continue having conversations about race relations.

"We have a moment of opportunity here, and shame on us if we don't seize it," she said. "We need to confront the deep-seated biases and prejudices that live within all of us."

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