Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for a real fight in America against racial discrimination, and a call for social justice toward the ending of police brutality against Black people.
While Hilary Clinton is still silent on the issue, people who aren’t even running for President are outshining her.
Speaking at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston, established by her late predecessor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Warren’s speech was tied to the legacy of the monumental 1960s civil rights laws that Kennedy championed.
“These laws made three powerful declarations: Black lives matter. Black citizens matter. Black families matter,” she said, according to her prepared remarks.
But she said it is clear that “we have not made enough progress,” organizing the speech around three major areas in which black people still face injustice: police violence, voting restrictions and economic inequality.
She also reminded the audience that the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 was as much about economic justice as it was about racial justice.
“When Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting and economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, ‘the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.’”
Warren acknowledged that economic reforms are not enough to combat the racism that still persists in America. “Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won’t prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside,” she said.
Citing the recent deaths of African-Americans in police custody, such as Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray, as well as the aggressive tactics police used during the protests against these deaths, she lamented that black people continue to experience disproportionately unfair treatment from police. In proposing solutions, she echoed the recent calls for police reforms, including the need to create more diverse police forces that “look like, and come from, the neighborhoods they serve” and the demilitarization of police.
“This is America, not a war zone, and policing practices in all cities, not just some, need to reflect that,” she said.
The speech drew praise from Black Lives Matter activists, like DeRay Mckesson, who has prominently called for lawmakers to make direct policy proposals that address police violence.
“Warren, better than any political leader I’ve yet heard, understands the protests as a matter of life or death — that the American dream has been sustained by an intentional violence and that the uprisings have been the result of years of lived trauma,” Mckesson told The Washington Post.