On Friday, Hillary Clinton appeared at the historically black college Clark Atlanta University to discuss proposals for criminal justice reform when she was interrupted by protests from the Black Lives Matter movement. “Yes, black lives do matter,” Clinton replied, but the group continued to chant and sing over the presidential candidate’s speech.
According to Mashable, the activists sang “Hell You Talmbout,” Janelle Monáe’s powerful protest song in which names of black Americans who were killed by police brutality are sung throughout. After attempts to quell the protesters’ chants from both civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and singer Usher failed, Clinton continued to speak, despite most of it being hard to hear. “I have some issues to discuss and proposals to make if our friends will allow me to do it,” said Clinton. “They may actually find them to their liking.”
CNN reports an Atlanta-based group affiliated with Black Lives Matter called #AUCShutItDown, said the aim of the protest was to press Clinton to directly address the issues facing the African-American community. “We’re not going to allow for Hillary to come here and have a cookie-cutter black conversation and to exploit black production for her vote,” a protester says in a video posted by the Huffington Post. Another activist, Shiranthi Goonathilaka, told HP, “Even though we interrupted her, she still didn’t lay out what that plan was. She just kept on saying little sound bites of how she understands the problem and [how] we need to fix them.”
In August, Clinton was criticized when she spoke to Black Lives Matter activists Daunasia Yancey and Julius Jones when she failed to come up with an actual plan, instead asking the community to come up with solutions. “Hillary Clinton is running for president of the United States. She has to come up with ways to claim what she wants to happen to really happen,” said Goonathilaka.
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Screenshot via CNN.