Five Black Lives Matter activists met with Hillary Clinton after they were barred from entering her New Hampshire community forum last night.
The group, who wanted to ask Clinton about her drug policies and violence against people of color, were ushered into an overflow room after Secret Service agents told them that the auditorium was at capacity. However, after the event, Clinton agreed to sit down with the activists. Though the advocates have yet to divulge details of the conversation, activist Julius Jones said that Clinton primarily stuck to campaign talking points.
“What we got was a Hillary Clinton who was willing to delve into the issues given her platform constraints, but she was not willing to take responsibility for or give much voice to the anti-Blackness current,” Jones told Politico. “She validated some of the points that we offered, but she didn’t offer many of her own.”
Daunasia Yancey, another activist who was present, told Politico that Clinton admitted that some policies that she had backed had not always proven effective. Clinton was reluctant to go into detail when answering their questions, but the group was still glad that it had the opportunity to speak with Clinton in an intimate environment.
“It rings similar in that it is a political response, right?” Yancey said to Politico. “They’re politicians, and that it’s a conversation about, again, policy and about drafting new legislation and those things without, I think, the deep underlying conversations around how those policies were drafted in a way that supports White supremacist violence.”
Clinton has been criticized in recent weeks for failing to address racial issues during her campaign. In June, she set off a firestorm when she declared “all lives matter” during a campaign event in Ferguson. She eventually backtracked, telling a South Carolina crowd weeks later, “It is essential that we all stand up and say loudly and clearly, ‘Yes, Black lives matter.’”
Clinton’s meeting with the activists come one day after Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled a racial justice platform, which included overhauling the nation’s police departments and outlawing for-profit prisons.