Hillary has a minority problem
During a Fusion-hosted event at Drake, Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton was asked, “Can you tell us what the term ‘white privilege’ means to you and can you give me an example from your life or career when you think you have benefitted from it?”
“Look, where do I start? It is hard when you’re swimming in the ocean to know exactly what’s happening around you so much as it is when you’re standing on the shore, perhaps watching,” Hillary began.
Clinton explained she grew up in a supportive family and went to good public schools. “I never really knew what was or wasn’t part of the privilege, I just knew that I was a lucky person,” she said. “Being lucky was in part related to who I am, where I’m from and the opportunities I had.”
Hillary share two stories about her revelation of white privilege, both experiences she gained from her church.
Among her many struggles this election season, Clinton has had a rough go with minority electorates. From a Kwanzaa Twitter flub, to Hispandering, Clinton has struggled to convince minority voters she understands their world view.
During the Fusion event, Clinton was also confronted about her use of the term, “illegal immigrant,” a term reviled by progressives. Clinton ultimately vowed not to use the term again. Blake Seitz of the Washington Free Beacon has that story:
Hillary Clinton pledged Monday never to use the phrase “illegal immigrant.”
Clinton was grilled about her past use of the term during a Democratic forum focusing on minority concerns.
“Last November you said the following and I quote: ‘I have voted many times to spend money to build a barrier to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in,’” Fusion TV host Jorge Ramos said. “So first question: would you commit to not using the term ‘illegal’ or ‘illegal immigrants’ in the future?”
Clinton acceded to Ramos’s request and disavowed her earlier comments.
“Absolutely. That was a poor choice of words and obviously, historically I have used ‘undocumented.’ I haven’t used it since and I won’t use it in the future,” Clinton said.
Daily Beast writer, Barrett Holmes Pitner, discussed his frustration with Hillary’s “tone-deaf racial pandering”:
The Democratic frontrunner needs to show she really gets what black and Hispanic voters want—and that doesn’t mean giving your Twitter feed a Kwanzaa makeover.
Hillary Clinton’s minority outreach over the last week has rekindled the idea that she is a candidate who is out of touch, particularly when it comes to minorities. To many of us, her campaign’s insistence that she is an abuela for Latinos and the changing of her Twitter logo to represent Kwanzaa came across as pandering at its worst.
As the leading candidates for the Republican Party continue to stoke racial, religious and ethnic tensions, the Democratic Party needs a candidate who can appeal to minority electorates. Clinton’s recent snafus show a potential vulnerability with her campaign regarding voters that the Democrats cannot afford to lose.
Yet these gaffes also display an obstacle that liberal candidates will face in this election cycle. Minority voters not only want a candidate who understands and appreciates their culture, has the capacity to fight for their causes and create positive change, but also one who can successfully navigate the line between appreciation and appropriation.
Pitner called out Hillary’s “Hispandering” to Latino voters particular:
Clinton’s recent blog post on her official website, “7 things Hillary Clinton has in common with your abuela,” was intended to show Latino voters how Clinton is similar to their abuela, or grandmother. Yet many Latinos on social media found this outreach attempt to be pandering, or Hispandering, to an important electorate. Many mentioned how her lifestyle as an affluent white American prevents her from understanding and relating to the true experiences of abuelas in America.
This was a light-hearted blog post that was created by Paola Luisi, a Latino staffer on Clinton’s campaign, because Clinton reminded her of her own abuela, but it highlights the difficulties white liberal politicians face in our multicultural society that regularly discusses the dangers of white privilege and white supremacy.
Essentially, Clinton can remind Luisi of her own abuela, but she is not at the point where she reminds the majority of Latinos of their abuelas. Prematurely insinuating that you fill a vital role in a foreign culture will naturally invoke claims of pandering, disingenuous motives, or using the privileges that whiteness affords in America to appropriate or inject yourself into another culture.
In addition to an ever-expanding FBI investigation (or because of it) primary states that were once a lock for the two-time presidential candidate are now polling in favor of self-identifying Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders.
[h/t Josh Feldman of Mediaite]
Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye