Black Lives Matter activist Elle Hearns appeared on CNN this afternoon and analyzed what Hillary Clinton did wrong in her interaction with other activists from the group. Hearns said Clinton “did exactly what most white people do when they are faced with direct questions from black people.” Asked why the group feels like they haven’t been heard after receiving lots of attention from crashing presidential campaign events, Elle Hearns said, “a white person would say that.”
CNN HOST: Let’s bring in Elle Hearns, she’s a strategic partner of the Black Lives Matter movement and is joining me now. You just heard what Hillary Clinton had to say in that interaction, although you weren’t in the room. How did she do?
ELLE HEARNS, BLACK LIVES MATTER: How did she do? I think it was clear how she did. She did exactly what most white people do when they are faced with direct questions from black people around what they can do to better assist with the call to action that has been put out consistently with the Black Lives Matter activists that is taking place right now.
HOST: What do you mean ‘what most white people do’ is how she responded?
HEARNS: She was very defensive. She was very intentionally suggestive of what other people could do as opposed to what she specifically could do. She was challenged to change hearts and minds and she said she doesn’t believe in that and, so that is, a majority of the time, the reaction that we’ve seen from the progressive movement towards these calls to action.
HOST: I’m not so sure she said she doesn’t agree with that but she did kind of qualify it saying there has to be more than that. We need real legislation or some kind of concrete steps that the politicians can take to make a difference when it comes to policy perhaps. And she did put out this statement that tries to clarify her positions. It says we must not only change hearts, but we must do more to face hard truths in America. Does that help?
HEARNS: I don’t think that that helps. I think that what helps is actually to be receptive and to what folks are presenting. And so what we’re seeing is a lot of folks, Bernie Sanders, multiple campaigns after the fact. What we actually need support in is actually being receptive of what is happening when you’re directly addressing the issues that we’ve been lifting up consistently around black deaths in this country.