With the 2016 Presidential Election looming, the potential candidates are beginning to pull out all of the stops to gain support of a steadily increasing important group of Americans–young, black students. In the wake of pro-black social movements, such as #BlackLivesMatter, young black students have begun to seriously question the trajectory of our nation in terms of racial equality and justice.
Most Republican candidates like Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson have remained silent on the matter, but discussions concerning racial tensions in America have been far more open amongst the Democratic candidates. Of these candidates, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has desperately been trying to win the hearts of young black students, starting right here in the AUC.
On Oct. 30, Hillary Clinton visited Clark Atlanta University to launch her “African Americans for Hillary” initiative. During the event, she highlighted how she planned on addressing issues that modern black students face, such as making college more affordable and defending African American youth.
I planned on attending this event but when I arrived to the venue, the Atlanta Police Department along with Clark Atlanta University Campus Police had already begun turning students away. I managed to pull one officer to the side and asked him why there was such a large number of students being denied entrance to hear Hillary speak; I figured that perhaps they neglected to RSVP their seat as requested in the email invitation or that they were acting unruly.
Neither of these were the case, however. The officer explained to me that there were only about 150 seats available, regardless of whether or not the students RSVP’d, and that these seats had already been filled. Initially, I was both disappointed and puzzled by this. If there were only 150 seats available, why was there an email sent to each and every student in the AUC, inviting them to come out and rally for Hillary Clinton?
My confusion grew into anger as I looked into the equally disappointed faces of my brothers and sisters from Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark Atlanta. Students began to express their outrage, reciting chants like “No Blacks for Hillary” and “Blacks for Bernie,” referring to Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist running against Clinton on the Democratic ticket.
When I got back to my room after walking from Clark Atlanta, I decided to do a bit of research about Hillary Clinton to see if anything like this had ever occurred at any of her other campaign events. After typing her name into the Google search bar, I discovered that the number one story involving Hillary Clinton at the moment was her doing the “nae nae” dance on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
I watched the video of her dancing that accompanied the article that I read, and a thought immediately came to me: Hillary Clinton has absolutely no idea how to relate to black people, particularly the youth. Between the goofy smile on her face and her mediocre dance moves, it was clear that she was willing to embarrass herself to seem “cool” by the standards of young black people.
It then occurred to me that this is probably why her AUC visit was such a flop. Clinton is so out of touch with the needs and concerns of black youth that she is willing to literally dance for our votes as opposed to just asking us what we need in a leader, and quite frankly, we deserve better.
Features Staff Writer