News & Politics

Gillibrand on Race: I Can Explain 'What White Privilege Actually Is' to Female Suburban White Trump Voters

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during the second of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Addressing race issues in America, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) positioned herself as a presidential candidate who can explain “white privilege” to “those white women in the suburbs” who voted for President Trump.

“So I don’t believe that it’s the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism, systemic racism in our country. I think as a white woman of privilege, who is a U.S. senator, running for president of the United States, it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren’t being listened to,” she said during the Democratic presidential primary debate on Wednesday.

“And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is, that when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&Ms in his pocket, wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot,” he added.

Gillibrand continued, “When their child has a car that breaks down, and he knocks on someone’s door for help, and the door opens, and the help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot. That is what white privilege in America is today. And so, my responsibility’s to not only lift up those stories, but explain to communities across America, like I did in Youngstown, Ohio, to a young mother, that this is all of our responsibilities, and that together we can make our community stronger.”