- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton declared Monday that “black lives matter” when she was asked in a Facebook thread whether she would advance a racial justice agenda as president of the United States.

The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery asked the Democratic presidential candidate if she would push to “dismantle structural racism” in the country, to which she answered frankly, “Black lives matter.”

“Everyone in this country should stand firmly behind that,” she continued. “We need to acknowledge some hard truths about race and justice in this country, and one of those hard truths is that that racial inequality is not merely a symptom of economic inequality. Black people across America still experience racism every day.

“Since this campaign started, I’ve been talking about the work we must do to address the systemic inequities that persist in education, in economic opportunity, in our justice system. But we have to do more than talk — we have to take action,” Mrs. Clinton wrote. “For example — we should make sure every police department in the U.S. has body cameras. We should provide alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders. We should invest in early childhood education for every child. We should fight for voting rights and universal voter registration. You will continue to hear me talking about these issues throughout this campaign and pushing for real solutions.”

Her comment was liked nearly 600 times.

Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic rivals have mostly refrained from using the polarizing slogan, which originated online after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin and erupted into a movement following the police-involved death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Candidate Martin O’Malley apologized on Saturday for saying “All lives matter” while discussing police violence against blacks. Sen. Bernie Sanders has also stated that “All lives matter,” but later clarified that “Black lives of course matter.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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