Hillary Clinton cited a her “strong, supportive family” growing up as evidence of “white privilege” during an interview on Monday.
Drake University student Thalia Anguiano confronted the Democrat front-runner on her alleged white privilege during Fusion’s 2016 Brown and Black Forum in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Can you tell us what the term white privilege means to you, and can you give me an example from your life or career when you think you have benefited from it?” Anguiano asked, which prompted cheers from the studio audience.
“Look, where do I start?” replied Clinton. “For me, look, I was born white, middle-class, in the middle of America. I went to good public schools. I had a very strong, supportive family. I had a lot of great experiences growing up. I went to a wonderful college. I went to law school.”
Clinton said the term she used to describe her upbringing during her youth was “lucky,” but a change occurred when her church asked her to babysit for the children of migrant workers outside Chicago.
The former secretary of state implied hugs the children gave their parents when they came home from work were somehow different than hugs white children give hard-working parents.
“I remember it like it was yesterday, watching that, and I was thinking, ‘I used to do that with my father.’ I’m watching these kids and their families. They have to work so hard. The place they live is not very nice, and I just felt I had a different kind of life. I didn’t call it a particular name, but it was a different life and I knew that.”
Anguiano told Fusion on Monday that she was disappointed in Clinton’s response.
“That showed me that she does not fully understand what white privilege is and how oppressed marginalized communities are in our society,” she said. “I feel like I got more of a white privilege understanding from [Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley] than Clinton tonight.”
The student seemingly wanted a response in the vein of a recent New York Times article by Professor George Yancy of Emory University. Yancy implored white America to go to “war” with itself over so-called white privilege.
“I am asking you to enter into battle with your white self. I’m asking that you open yourself up; to speak to, to admit to, the racist poison that is inside of you. […] As you reap comfort from being white, we suffer for being black and people of color. But your comfort is linked to our pain and suffering,” the professor wrote Dec. 24, WND reported.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows Clinton trailing Sanders by 5 percentage points in Iowa as the Feb. 1 caucuses near. Sanders captures 49 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 44 percent.
Pollsters questioned 492 Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants from Jan. 5-10 before publishing results. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.