Again proving their political value ahead of the 2016 election season, #BlackLivesMatter activists met with Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton behind closed doors earlier this month after not being allowed to enter a substance abuse forum due to capacity concerns from a local fire marshal. The exchange, though heated surrounding the policies of Hillary's husband Bill, proved another stepping stone in the group's continued political influence.
"I do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the 80s and the early 90s," Hillary tells the activist group, led by Daunasia Yancey, the founder of the Boston chapter of #BlackLivesMatter. "I believe that we have to look at the world as it is today," continues Clinton, "and try and figure out what will work now. That's what I'm trying to figure out and that's what I intend to do as president."
Though Hillary repeatedly takes issue in the clip with the assertion that the policies of her husband have inspired much of the detrimental inequality problems facing America today, she agrees that the future of widespread reform relies almost solely on a united push for updated legislation on a federal level. "I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate," Clinton tells the group. "You're not going to change every heart. You're not. But at the end of the day, we could do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them, to live up to their own God-given potential."
Following his own recent meetings with #BlackLivesMatter activists, fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders swiftly unveiled a sweeping police reform plan aimed at removing the power of institutionalized racism. Though Hillary hasn't officially issued a similar plan, her willingness to discuss these issues at length suggests a comparable approach in the months ahead.