Watch: Black Lives Matter Activists Confront Hillary Clinton

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Hillary Clinton talks with several members of the Black Lives Matter movement after an event in New Hampshire Aug. 11, 2015. 
MSNBC Screenshot

Black Lives Matter activists have now become infamous for rushing the stages of presidential hopefuls and turning what would have been a rally for votes come election time into a rally for justice.

Turns out, Black Lives Matter activists who were denied entrance into a New Hampshire event featuring Hillary Clinton Aug. 11 got a one-on-one chance with the Democratic hopeful that day to grill her on racial issues, including the mass incarceration of blacks and police brutality.


In a newly released video, initially posted to YouTube before being quickly taken down and shown exclusively on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, five members of the Massachusetts faction of the Black Lives Matter movement hold Clinton's feet to the flame.

Activist Julius Jones told Clinton that mass incarceration hasn't worked in this country, a sentiment with which Clinton agreed. He then went on to note several policies that haven't worked, including the war on drugs: "America's first drug is free black labor and turning black bodies into profit, and the mass-incarceration system mirrors the prison plantation system."

For almost three full minutes, Jones walked the Democratic hopeful through issues he believes are hurting the black community, before a man who appeared to be with Clinton told the group it was running low on time.

Clinton explained that she was working hard to change what she called "the country's original sin" and noted that the work for her was trying to figure out ways to "explain and sell" change "because in politics," she told the activists, "if you can't explain it and you can't sell it, it stays on the shelf."


Things took a turn when Clinton asked the activists to explain policy changes they wanted to see enacted.

"I stand here in your space and I say this as respectfully as I can, 'If you don't tell black people what we need to do, then we won't tell you all what to do,' " Jones said. "What I mean to say is, this is and has always been a white problem of violence. There's not much that we can do to stop the violence against us."


"Respectfully," Clinton answered, "if that is your position, then I will only talk to white people about how we are going to deal with these very real problems."

"That's not what I mean," Jones said. He added, "But what you just said was a form of victim blaming. You were saying what the Black Lives Matter movement needs to do to change white hearts is to … "


Clinton told them that she isn't interested in changing hearts but, rather, policy. "You can keep the movement going, which you have started, and through that you might change some hearts," she said. "But if that's all that happens, we'll be back here in 10 years having the same conversation because we will not have all of the changes that you deserve to see happen in your lifetime because of your willingness to get out there and talk about this."

Watch the intense discussion below:

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