Secretary Hillary Clinton was scheduled to appear at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, to be interviewed by Roland Martin host of “News One Now” show on November 7, 2015. The Chapel where Secretary Clinton was interviewed was beautiful. The walls were made of raw clay brick with nicely hung curtains on each side of the walls. Chairs were arranged in rows of four with thirteen columns in each of the four sections. That equates to 208 people seated excluding the press and law enforcement. There were students that didn’t get into the event because it was filled to capacity.
Roland Martin appeared on-site and walked toward to his video producer to discuss a few technical issues. Afterward, he walked out of sight and had not been seen anymore until the event was to begin. Those in attendance waited patiently for the interview and passed the time with their cell phones. Members of the press were provided brochures by the Public Relations official. Anyone who read the brochure learned that Claflin University was founded in 1869 and named after Lee Claflin who happened to be an abolitionist. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared at Claflin University in February of 1965. Former Chief Justice Ernest A. Finney, Jr. is the first African-American Chief Justice to serve on the South Carolina Supreme Court. The first African-American Associate Justice to serve on the South Carolina Supreme Court was the Honorable Jonathan Jasper Wright who served from 1840 to 1885. Paintings of both Justices hang proudly on the wall of the South Carolina Supreme Court. On November 7, 2015, Claflin University may have added to its history by being visited by the first female President in the history of the United States. Aria Lauren Dillard was elected Miss Claflin University for 2015 – 2016 and she may have associated herself with history by speaking at an event attended by the soon-to-be President Hillary Rodham Clinton!
Roland appeared on stage and provided the audience with a narrative of the type of policy questions he would be asking Secretary Clinton before introducing her to the stage. First question, Roland asked was if there was a need for a New Deal supporting a Marshall Plan which is a question concerning the economy. Secretary Clinton said President Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and doesn’t get the credit he deserves for bringing jobs back to America. She said we need a huge infrastructure program and clean energy program to grow the future economy and move away from fossil fuels. Next, Roland asked what can be done to stop construction companies from freezing African-Americans out of jobs? Secretary Clinton said she wants to give employers credits for training employees who don’t have the skills.
Roland asked Secretary Clinton if she supports Maxine Waters’ bill which places restrictions on the use of credit reports in the area of employment. Secretary Clinton said she believes that a lot of credit problems concerning young people had much to do with student loans and credit card debt in large measure. She doesn’t want credit reports following citizens around and used to deny an otherwise qualified applicant employment for a position simply because of a credit report.
Next, Roland touched upon the Black Lives Matter group that interrupted Secretary Clinton’s speech at Clark Atlanta University recently and asked if she understood that Former President Bill Clinton had signed the Crime Bill which led to the mass incarceration of African-Americans and whether she understood their sentiment. Secretary Clinton said she believes in criminal justice reform, incarceration reform, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, remove the difference between powder cocaine and crack cocaine, and finally ban the box. She said her husband’s Crime Bill was in response to a horrific phenomenon involving crack cocaine which destroyed lives in minority neighborhoods.
A member in the audience asked Secretary Clinton a question of pay disparity among women. Secretary Clinton said she gets asked this question at all of her Town Hall events and she believes it is not just a woman’s issue, it’s a family issue. She explained that employers can fire someone for asking another employee how much they make which was the segue into the story of Lilly Ledbetter who learned that she made less than her male co-equals who performed the same functions on the job. Secretary Clinton wants to introduce a bill that would prohibit this discriminatory employment practice.
Another member of the audience asked what will she do as President to stop the rampant gun violence in America. Secretary Clinton said she believes in universal background checks for real. She proposed closing what has been called the “Charleston loophole” which gives a gun seller 72 hours to conduct a background check on a potential buyer and requires that it be sold to the individual if the background check had not been conducted in a timely manner. Secretary Clinton explained that this is how Dylan Roof, a convicted felon, ended up with a gun to shoot members of a Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Hearing Secretary Hillary Clinton speak on policy issues that are presently facing America was like a breath of fresh air!