Hillary Clinton Emphasizes Black Lives Matter In Wake Of Latest Police Shootings

Hillary Clinton addressed the Tuesday morning death of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resident Alton Sterling at the hands of police, in a tweet that supported the Black Lives Matter. Clinton has previously sparred with the movement, but she has also come out in support of #BLM, most notably last July when speaking to a crowd in South Carolina when she said, “It is essential that we all stand up and say loudly and clearly, ‘Yes, black lives matter.'”

Following Alton’s death, Clinton wrote, “Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn’t consider them as precious as others because of the color of their skin.”

Hillary critics are quick to side-eye her comments, considering many of the policies that she supports have harmed African-Americans. Black Lives Matter activists have protested Clinton events on multiple occasions over the past year. Back in February, a pair of Black Lives Matter activists interrupted Clinton at a private fundraiser, confronting the Democratic presidential candidate about past statements she made about youth in gangs during Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential re-election and his 1994 crime bill.

Last August, Hillary and Black Lives Matter activists had a candid and at times tense 15-minute discussion about the movement and issues on mass incarceration. CNN notes how the 2016 candidate even gave suggestions to the activists, telling them that without a precise plan their movement will get nothing but “lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it.”

She also argued that #BLM can’t change deep-seated racism.

“Look, I don’t believe you change hearts,” Clinton said. “I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not. But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential.”

Clinton’s July 6 statement emphasized that trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve can be achieved through “Common sense reforms like ending racial profiling, providing better training on de-escalation and implicit bias, and supporting municipalities that refer the investigation and prosecution of police-involved deaths to independent bodies.”

Hillary followed up her support on Black Lives Matter Wednesday after the police shooting of another black man, Philando Castile, who was killed during a traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

“Alton Sterling Matters. Philando Castile Matters. Black Lives Matter,” Hilary’s tweet read.

Clinton’s comments about both tragedies may be the most surprising of all the notable public figures who have issued statements following the shootings of Sterling and Castile. Beyoncé encouraged her fans to contact their local representatives and demand action.

“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote on her website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’ We don’t need sympathy. We need everyone to respect our lives.”

After disturbing video surfaced Monday night (July 4) of two white Baton Rouge police officers killing 37-year-old Alton Sterling, the internet exploded. Drake reacted to his death in an open letter on his Instagram.

“It’s impossible to ignore that the relationship between black and brown communities and law enforcement remains as strained as it was decades ago,” he wrote. “This is real and I’m concerned. Concerned for the safety of my family, my friends, and any human being that could fall victim to this pattern.”

Rolling Out reports that actress Issa Rae wrote on a GoFundMe campaign page that she’s “sympathetic and empathetic” to Alton’s family, and within hours she helped raise over $400,000 for Sterling’s family.

Meanwhile, Hillary wrote in her statement, “Progress is possible if we stand together and never waver in our fight to secure the future that every American deserves.”

Black Lives Matter leaders in various cities are organizing demonstrations following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Activists have been criticized at times for their tactics, particularly taking over events, while Clinton’s campaigning continues to be criticized for courting African-American voters. Many believe her latest statement warrants such criticism.

[Photo by Star Shooter/AP Images]