Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave a forceful speech about civil rights on Sunday, saying that "black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter."
In an address at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, the Massachusetts Democrat waded into the discussion about policing, criminal justice and civil rights that has rocked the United States in the past few years. Warren, who has rebuffed multiple entreaties to join the 2016 presidential race, pointedly rejected the idea that the problems of civil rights can be solved solely by eroding economic inequality—a debate that has repeatedly tripped up Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders:
"Economic justice is not - and has never been - sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won't stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won't prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, 'the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.'"
Warren went on to say that, as a white person, she could not claim to understand what the African American experience is like, but that everyone could see what was happening in America:
I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African Americans every day. But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country. Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.
Listen to the brave, powerful voices of today's new generation of civil rights leaders. Incredible voices. Listen to them say: "If I die in police custody, know that I did not commit suicide." Watch them march through the streets, "hands up don't shoot" - not to incite a riot, but to fight for their lives. To fight for their lives.
This is the reality all of us must confront, as uncomfortable and ugly as that reality may be. It comes to us to once again affirm that black lives matter, that black citizens matter, that black families matter.
Read the full text of the speech here.
(h/t Washington Post)