Hillary Clinton on Civil Rights

Democratic Jr Senator (NY)

Pushing for privacy bill of rights

Hillary Clinton urged creation of a "privacy bill of rights" to protect people's personal data. Clinton's speech on protecting consumers from identity theft and citizens from government snooping was the latest in a series of talks billed as "major addresses" by aides. Previous speeches were on energy and the economy. A potential presidential candidate in 2008, Clinton noted her work on a House committee investigating the Nixon administration's illegal snooping and other abuses.

Clinton said any president should have the latest technology to track terrorists, but within laws that provide for oversight by judges. "The administration's refrain has been, 'Trust us,'" Clinton said. "That's unacceptable. Their track record doesn't warrant our trust. Unchecked mass surveillance without judicial review may sometimes be legal but it is dangerous. Every president should save those powers for limited critical situations."

Source: 2008 speculation in Associated Press Jun 16, 2006

Voted to ban flag-burning to build centrist credentials

Q: Is Hillary Clinton somebody who can reach the moderates, bring the Party together?

A: She's a paradox. No one has been more diligent in trying to re-create her image as a centrist, even to the point of sponsoring legislation to make flag- burning illegal, which is a rather naked play for a kind of voter who is not attracted to her. The serious question is whether this can work. Missouri Democrats told me, over and over, that yes, they like Hillary Clinton, they think she's a good senator, they admire her personal qualities, but the last thing they want right now is for her to come to Missouri and campaign on behalf of their candidates. Missouri is a state that could go for a Democrat in a national election, but they were saying, We hope that the Party understands that nominating Hillary Clinton means that you take Missouri out of play, and when Missouri is out of play, thirty other states are out of play.

Source: 2008 speculation, by Jeffrey Goldberg in the New Yorker May 29, 2006

Gay soldiers need to shoot straight, not be straight

One of Bill's first challenges as commander in chief became the promise he made during the campaign to let gays and lesbians serve in the military as long as their sexual orientation did not in any way compromise their performance or unit cohesion. I agreed with the commonsense proposition that the code of military conduct should be enforced strictly against behavior, not sexual orientation.

Bill knew the issue was a political loser, but it galled him that he couldn't persuade the Joint Chiefs

Source: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, p.241-2 Nov 1, 2003

Apologize for slavery, but concentrate on civil rights now

Q: Will you support reparations for African-Americans?

CLINTON: We have mental, emotional and psychological reparations to pay first. We have to admit that we haven’t always treated people in our own country fairly. We have some issues that we have to address when it comes to racial justice right now. I’m willing to work hard to be a strong advocate for Civil Rights and human rights here at home and around the world. I want to do everything I can to make sure that the programs and policies that have helped generations of African-Americans have a better life in this country continue. I think we should be focused on the present and on the future. We owe an apology to African-Americans for hundreds of years of slavery.

LAZIO: I believe it is time for us to move past the issue of reparations among African-Americans and work for ways in which we can bring more opportunity and better educational opportunities to African-American children.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Rebuild trust between police and communities

Q: What would you do about racial profiling in NYC?

LAZIO: I don’t think we need federal monitors. The streets of New York are at their safest point ever. Do I believe in racial profiling? No, I do not. As a former prosecutor, I know that we can do the job without that tool, and we should do the job without that tool. People believe that the quality of life is increasing in New York City because of the partnership that’s been developed between Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki. And they’re going to add one more partner next year in the Senate: Rick Lazio.

CLINTON: I disapprove of racial profiling. I’ve spoken out about the need to rebuild trust between our police who put themselves on the line every single day and the communities that they’re pledged to protect. I want to go to the Senate to make sure that our police have the resources and tools they need to do the very best job, but I also want to go to make sure that our communities feel safe and protected.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

End hate crimes and other intolerance

I am deeply saddened and outraged by the recent incidents of hate crimes, and I hope our outrage will strengthen our resolve to address these scourges of gun violence and hate crimes in America today. There is no place for violence or intolerance in this country, and it is urgent that we address these issues now.
Source: www.hillary2000.org, “Hate Crimes” Sep 9, 2000

Gays deserve domestic partnership benefits

We ought to be providing domestic partnership benefits for people who are in homosexual and lesbian relationships.
Source: CNN.com Feb 11, 2000

Crack down on sex trafficking of women and girls

Leaders of a coalition of women’s groups and politically conservative groups sent a letter of protest to the first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The letter accused the administration of taking a position that was “extremely detrimental to women” in negotiations over a new UN treaty on sex trafficking. They were referring to the administration’s support for wording in the treaty that would define “forced prostitution” - but not other types of prostitution - as a form of “sexual exploitation.” The letter said [that] wording would make it more difficult to prosecute prostitution rings because the definition “would not cover some of the most common methods of sex trafficking, which prey on and profit from the economic desperation of women, girls and their families by securing their ‘consent.’” Clinton has focused on the issue in her foreign travels and has repeatedly called for a crackdown on all types of trafficking of women and children across international borders.
Source: International Herald-Tribune, p. 3 Jan 14, 2000

Human rights are women’s rights

Traveling abroad on behalf of our country, Hillary has been an eloquent voice for human rights & democracy, highlighting the need for education for girls & boys, and access to health care for women and men. At the 1995 UN World Conference on Women, Hillary said, “We must respect the choices that each women makes for herself and her family. If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”
Source: www.hillary2000.org “About Hillary” Jan 1, 2000

Women’s rights are human rights

At the 1995 UN World Conference on Women, held in China:“Women comprise more than half the world’s population. Women are 70% of the world’s poor and illiterate. Much of the work we do is not valued--not by economists, not by historians, not by popular culture, not by government leaders. We need to understand that there is not one formula for how women should lead their lives. We must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.“

The First Lady lambasted China’s Communist government for suppressing free speech and the right to assemble at the grassroots women’s forum [of the UN Conference]. She inspired the women there to make their voices heard against selling girls into prostitution, against rape as a tactic of war, against forced abortion or sterilization. ”Human rights are women’s rights. And women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.“

Source: Hillary’s Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.277 Dec 9, 1999

Military service based on conduct, not sexual orientation

Fitness to serve in the military should be based on one’s conduct, not one’s sexual orientation.
Source: “Inside Politics” Dec 9, 1999

New Yorkers should all just get along

We’re going to be promoting the politics of inclusion in New York, because I think it’s to the benefit of New Yorkers that people work together, even if they have differences.
Source: “Inside Politics” Dec 9, 1999

Don’t punish Brooklyn Museum for Sensation

[Regarding the Brooklyn Museum’s display of the dung-covered portrait of the Virgin Mary entitled “Sensation”]: It is not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum that has served this community with distinction over many years.
Source: “This Week” (ABC News with Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts) Oct 3, 1999

Support National Endowment for the Arts

Regarding cutbacks on art funding]: We will continue to promote the arts. I’ve tried to do that with a sculpture garden at the White House and the crafts collection for the White House, which is on exhibit here in N.Y. We will also support the National Endowment of the Arts. The arts speak to us; they tell us who we are. I think that as a nation we need that today because we’re going through such a changing time.
Source: Unique Voice, p.169 Feb 3, 1997

Sex selection, prostitution & war rape: human rights issues