This Is The Robust Civil Rights History of Hillary Clinton
When it comes to Civil Rights, it’s not about what politicians say, but what legislation they sponsor or co-sponsor, and how they vote. Talk is cheap, and rumor and innuendo fly in politics. We know what her husband’s were, but she shouldn’t have to answer for or take credit for his actions. Let’s focus on Hillary Clinton and see what she has done in the arena of civil rights.
While in the Senate, Hillary Clinton introduced the Count Every Vote Act of 2005 to combat a “history of intimidation.” Fighting against voter ID laws, Clinton said that:
“By trying to require not just photo identification but proof of citizenship — proof that thousands of American citizens can’t produce through no fault of their own — cynical Republican lawmakers are trying to build new walls between hundreds of thousands of eligible senior, minority, and low-income Americans and their civil right to choose their own leaders. Republicans claim that these requirements are needed to prevent fraud, but the reality is that they do little more than disenfranchise eligible voters.”
Equality Under The Law
Hillary Clinton stood with Cecelia Marshall, Thurgood Marshall’s widow, alongside former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer at his swearing in as the first African-American President of the American Bar Association in its 124-year history – 60 years after they lifted a ban on black members. Her support and affiliation with the Legal Services Corporation including her board chairmanship of that organization in the early 1970s reaffirmed a longstanding commitment to support low-income communities and people of color in the courtroom and at the highest levels of legal advocacy.
Hillary co-sponsored a bill recognizing Juneteenth as the historical end of slavery. The resolution recognized the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressed that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future. Recognizing the historical significance to the nation, and supporting the continued celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved African Americans were free), Congress passed it declaring the celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.
Clinton also co-sponsored a bill reinforcing anti-discrimination and equal-pay requirements; specifically, to restore, reaffirm, and reconcile legal rights and remedies under civil rights statutes. The bill amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to establish discrimination based on disparate impact; and rights of action and recovery for unlawful discrimination. It also authorized civil actions in federal court for discrimination based on disability, and repealed provisions limiting the amount of compensatory and punitive damages that may be awarded in cases of intentional discrimination in employment. Finally, it revised provisions governing discrimination in the payment of wages, including equal pay requirements.
Equality in Education
In 1972, I returned to D.C. to work for Marian Wright Edelman in DC. My assignment was to gather information about the Nixon Administration’s failure to enforce the legal ban on granting tax-exempt status to the private segregated academies that had sprung up in the South to avoid integrated public schools. The academies claimed they were created in response to parents deciding to form private schools; it had nothing to do with court-ordered integration. I went to Atlanta to meet with the lawyers and civil rights workers who were compiling evidence that proved the academies were created solely for the purpose of avoiding the constitutional mandate of the Supreme Court’s decisions.
As part of my investigation, I drove to Alabama. At a local private school, I had an appointment to meet an administrator to discuss enrolling my imaginary child. I went through my role-playing, asking questions about the curriculum and makeup of the student body. I was assured that no black students would be enrolled.
Living History, by Hillary Clinton, p. 57 , Nov 1, 2003
Ensuring opportunity and understanding the tragedy that is the school-to-prison pipeline, Hillary Clinton worked with community leaders in New York affiliated with the organization 100 Black Men to open an all-boys single sex school in the South Bronx. Teaching predominantly black and Latino young men, David Banks, the founding principal, sees his mission as “empowering at risk inner-city young men to become academic achievers, engaged citizens and responsible men.” Eagle, now with six high schools in New York City and Newark, N.J., has graduation rate of over 95 percent.
In addition to compiling three editions of the first Handbook on Legal Rights for Arkansas Women, In 1987, Robert MacCrate, then president of the American Bar Association, appointed Hillary Clinton as the first chairperson of the inaugural twelve member ABA Commission on Women and the Profession. Up until that time, the participation of women in the ABA had been very limited. This was a chance to place women’s issues into the mainstream of ABA activity.
The commission held hearings and found widespread discrimination issuing a report urging the bar association to publicly recognize that gender bias exists in the profession and to begin to eliminate it. The ABA responded to the work of Hillary’s commission by adopting a resolution that committed the association and its members to “refuse to participate in, acquiesce in, or condone barriers to the full integration and equal participation of women in the legal profession.“ The voice vote of approval was unanimous. Hillary told the delegates, ”Despite the progress that has been made, there still exist instances of subtle discrimination against women.“ In 1991, the group created the Goal IX Report Card, an annual accounting designed to measure the progress of women in the association.
In 1997, following up on her assertion two years earlier, at the fourth U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing, that ‘women’s rights are human rights,” Hillary and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright established the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative to promote the advancement of women’s rights as an explicit goal of US foreign policy. Over the next three years, at conferences throughout the world, Vital Voices brought together thousands of women leaders from 80 countries.
In 2000, American women who were involved in the government initiative and who wanted the project to continue formed a new non-governmental organization, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and aligned with other women around the world who began their own chapters. Vital Voices invests in emerging women leaders to give them the tools they need to advance peace and reconciliation, run successful businesses, participate fully in their nation’s political life, and combat trafficking in women and girls and other abusive practices.
Clinton co-sponsored the bill re-introducing the Equal Rights Amendment, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women. Its three sections stated equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This article shall take effect 2 years after the date of ratification.
Hillary indicated she would not oppose efforts to enact a same-sex marriage law in NY, and voted against a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. She co-sponsored a bill providing benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees including employee health benefits; retirement and disability plans; family, medical, and emergency leave; group life insurance; long-term care insurance; compensation for work injuries; death, disability, and similar benefits; relocation, travel, and related expenses.
Political analyst and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies Basil Smikle Jr. writes:
Whether pushing for race to be considered in higher education admissions policies or fighting against the use of race-neutral “percentage plans” in federal affirmative action proposals, there are aspects to Hillary Clinton’s activism that exist across multiple policy and political venues as well as at the community level.
Please understand that Hillary Clinton has a 50 year record on Civil Rights. If you really need more, look into her role in implementing Hillarycare, and her relationship with Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky. This excludes the countless number of statements she has made, and only focused on her specific actions. We should be just about done here.