Gillibrand Would Explain to White Suburban Women 'What White Privilege Actually Is'

By Susan Jones | August 1, 2019 | 5:55am EDT
Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

( - "What would you do for Baltimore and other cities that need help?" several Democrats were asked at Wednesday's CNN-hosted debate.

When her turn came to answer that question, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) invoked her own "white privilege."

So I don't believe that it's the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country. I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator, running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren't being listened to.

And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot.

When his -- when her -- when their child has a car that breaks down, and he knocks on someone's door for help, and the door opens, and the help is given, it's his whiteness that protects him from being shot. That is what white privilege in America is today.

And so, my responsibility's to only lift up those stories, but explain to communities across America, like I did in Youngstown, Ohio, to a young mother, that this is all of our responsibilities, and that together we can make our community stronger.

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro started out by calling President Trump a "racist," then praised the "tremendously rich" history and culture and "possibility" of cities such as Baltimore and Detroit, overlooking the problems recently brought to light on a video retweeted by President Trump.

"Here's what I would do if I'm president," Castro said:

Number one, I would invest in tremendous educational opportunity; invest in universal pre-K for three and four-year-olds; invest in improving K-12 education and also making higher education available to everyone through tuition-free public state universities, community colleges and job training and certification programs. I would follow-up on the work that I did at HUD. We passed the most sweeping rule to further desegregate our communities in the United States.

This Trump administration set that back. I would put that back in order. I would also invest in housing that is affordable, because folks know that the rent is going through the roof. And we need to make sure that you don't have to get out of West Baltimore, or Inner City Detroit, or the west side of San Antonio, or anywhere, if you want to reach your American dream. I want you to be able to accomplish it in your great neighborhood where you are.

Many Americans would not describe Baltimore as a "great neighborhood," given the trash-strewn lots, vacant houses, and rodent infestation, none of which Castro addressed.

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