Hillary Clinton’s speech at 2015’s Conference of Mayors is the best I have heard her give. Addressing difficult truths on race and gun violence in today’s America, the former Secretary of State was forceful, insightful, tender and on point. Those who pretend she was politicizing the massacre of nine African American women and men at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston might have agendas of their own. She spoke of the need for laws that do not interfere with responsible gun ownership, like universal background checks, and keeping guns out of the hands of abusers and the mentally disturbed. Stating that “once again, racist rhetoric had metastasized into racist violence,” Hillary shared uncomfortable and documented facts in the differences in treatment between black and white Americans, challenging us all not to look away. Digging deeper, Clinton noted “Our problem is not all kooks and klansmen. It’s the cruel joke that goes unchallenged…”
She later stated we need to focus on the “habits of our hearts” and be “cities, states and a country too busy to hate.” Practical as ever, Secretary Clinton encouraged us to “look at what is working across our country and then share it and scale it.” Her declaration that “one size fits all solutions rarely work” introduced her call for a “new, flexible federalism,” promising Mayors nationwide, regardless of party, a friend in the White House were she to be elected.
I have rarely seen anyone connect the threads on family, faith, economy, justice, civic involvement, bipartisanship and a practical government partnership with local authorities as well as Hillary Clinton does here. I can offer no stronger endorsement than to ask that you listen to her speech in its entirety and judge for yourself.