Clinton talks economy, immigration with minority journalists
Democratic nominee opens discussion of race on campaign trail
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Friday spoke before a jam-packed auditorium of journalists at the NABJ/NAHJ Joint Conference and Career Fair in Washington, D.C.
She swiftly acknowledged that those who decide to run for president should always expect to be held accountable.
Before fielding selected questions from the journalists in attendance, Clinton discussed how to expand economic opportunity for blacks and Latinos across America. With members of the country’s two largest minority journalists organizations in the crowd, Clinton addressed the economy’s effect on minorities — a topic that she acknowledged is challenging and doesn’t get enough attention on the campaign trail.
“When the economy catches a cold, communities of color catch pneumonia,” Clinton said.
She noted that during the past eight months, people around the United States have lamented how difficult it has been to navigate a harsh economic climate.
“Barriers of systemic racism makes that even harder,” she continued.
Immigration reform was another topic that came up during Clinton’s speech. She was asked to not only express how she planned to work on immigration reform, but to outline her steps toward finding a solution.
“We are going to start immediately,” Clinton said. “I want this to be a clear, high priority for my administration. I am hoping that the outcome of the election will send a clear message to our Republican friends to quit standing in the way of immigration reform.”
The approximately 1,600 journalists who filled the auditorium were asked to refrain from cheering for Clinton’s remarks to avoid appearing impartial, but the heat of the presidential campaign trumped those instructions.
Clinton stressed the importance of building an economy and a future that makes everyone proud. But she wasted no time shifting her focus from the economy to her opponent’s campaign in the 2016 presidential election.
“Donald Trump doesn’t represent who we are and what we believe,” Clinton said of the Republican presidential nominee.
Clinton also noted that journalists have a special responsibility to the American democracy during such divisive times in America.
“The best journalist is when you take a stand and denounce injustices,” she said.
As for her own experiences interacting with minorities, Clinton responded to a question by The Undefeated’s editor-in-chief Kevin Merida about her most meaningful conversations with someone black.
She said she has had experiences with many African-Americans and joked: “They tried to expand my musical taste.”
“I am blessed to have a crew of great friends,” she said. “I really have had a lifetime of friendship, going back to my college years. They’ve supported me. They’ve chastised me. They’ve raised issues with me.”