2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

Clinton's Platform on Eliminating Racial Inequalities


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Home March 13,2008 Hillary Clinton and Gearldine Ferraro     February 26, 2008 - Tim Russert;     February 21, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;       February 20, 2008 - Bill O'Reilly;          January 30, 2008 - National Organization of Women - New York;          January 15, 2008  - MSBNC, Brian Williams and Tim Russert Discussion Forum
This site focuses on one issue: racial inequality. It does not endorse or oppose any party or any candidate.


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Racism, particularly institutional and structural racism, is still a significant problem in this society.  'Institutional racism involves polices, practices, and procedures of institutions that have a disproportionately negative effect on racial minoritiesí access to and quality of goods, services, and opportunities. (aa)   Racial inequalities can not be eliminate through class based remedies alone.  Thus,  it is not unrealistic to expect the candidates to have a comprehensive plan for eliminating racial inequalities.   This assessment is not about which candidate's platform is best  but which candidate not only acknowledges the existence of racial disparities, but also includes a plan to eliminate racial inequalities.  The candidate may actually address a issue in away designed to improve access and quality for everyone but fails to discuss how they will eliminate racial inequalities. 

Remember this assessment is very narrow.  Be sure to read the candidate's platform (website)  to make a comprehensive assessment of the impact of their plans on you, your family and your community.



  • Code
    • Italic denotes language directly from the candidates website and other official sources.
    • "No specific plans" means that there were no general plans addressing the specific issues.
    • "Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities" means the candidate discussed the issue but there was no specific plans for eliminating racial inequalities.

Adoption, Family and Marriage
  •  Addresses Issue but no plans for  eliminating racial inequalities (21, 22, 23)

Civil Justice
  • No specific plans.

Civil Rights
  •  SUPPORT ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAW FOR 21ST CENTURY - No specific plans listed on website (31) But Senator Clinton is a sponsor for Civil Rights Act of 2008 .S. 2554 A bill to restore, reaffirm, and reconcile legal rights and
    remedies under civil rights statutes.
  • "Restore the Civil Rights Divisionís political independence, professional pride, and traditional priorities. Clinton will: Direct the Attorney and General to submit Ė within 90 days of taking office Ė a Report on Restoring Professionalism and Confidence in the Department of Justice, to address the crisis of confidence created by the Bush Administrationís political meddling in the DOJ and the firing and hiring of career officials for partisan reasons. The report would recommend how to restore DOJís traditional role in civil rights and the rule of law, and would review charges of improper, politically motivated hiring to determine whether laws were broken. Within 90 days after submission of the report, Hillary will provide the money and manpower to fulfill the reportís recommendations; Restore professionalism and remove politics from hiring, case deliberations, and policy decisions across the Department of Justice. Increase funding for the Civil Rights Division by $30 million. (31)
    • ANALYSIS: Certainly restoring manpower, money and directing the Justice department to focus its attention on discrimination is essential to dealing with institutional racism. However, without a modern civil rights law that address, among other things, disparate impact, statistical an discrimination actionable enforcement efforts will have little impact because most discrimination is not intentional as required by current law.
  • Modernize and strengthen the federal hate crimes law. Hillary will: (1) Sign into law the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. (31)

  • .

Criminal Justice
  • Death Penalty - No specific plans.
  • Sentencing Disparities - No specific plans.
  • Racial Profiling - No specific plans.
  • Juvenile Justice - No specific plans.
  • Mandatory Minimmum - No specific plans.
  • Drug Courts - no specific plan
  • Ensure Adequate Counsel - No specific plans.
  • Prisoner Re-entry -  Addresses Issue but no plans for  eliminating racial inequalities(18)

Economic Development, Employment and Income
  • Business Ownership- No specific plans.
  • Jobs and Incomes
    •  "Combat Ongoing Racial and Sex Discrimination in the Labor Market: . . .. To reverse this trend, Hillary will: Recommit the U.S. Government to Fully Enforcing our Anti-Discrimination Laws: Hillary will restore funding for the EEOC and work to restore the historic reputation of the Civil Rights Division as a body that vigorously enforces people's civil rights. Clinton will also fight to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to end the gender discrimination in pay that contributes to African American women today earning only $.72 for every dollar men earn."(31)
      • ANALYSIS: Clinton's focus is primarily on gender discrimination "Title VII" Clinton doesn't mention Title VI (Racial Discrimination). Furthermore, Clinton discusses the Fairness Act to "end gender discrimination". But Clinton does not discuss new laws to end racial discrimination. Clinton is not planning to introduce comprehensive Civil Rights Reform for the 21st Century. Without reform of the civil rights laws her proposed agenda will have little impact on racial discrimination. (31)
  • Licensing Issues - No specific plans.
  • Retirement Income -  Addresses Issue but no plans for  eliminating the racial gap (4)
  • Link Responsible Fatherhood to Economic Opportunity:.-  Addresses Issue but no plans for  eliminating racial inequality(31)

  • K-12
    •  Provide quality pre-kindergarten to all children to ensure that they are ready to learn when they start school. . . Hillaryís proposal would ensure that every child who needs pre-K would receive it by providing universal access to high quality pre-K for four year olds in five years through a federal-state partnership. Her proposal also provides flexibility to allow states to serve younger children once they have provided pre-K to all four year olds who need it. " (17)
    • Cut the minority dropout rate in half. including: Investing in Promising, Innovative Approaches including Early College High Schools , One American Graduation Rate and Recruiting and Retaining Outstanding Teachers and Principals in High Need Areas Identifying At-Risk Youth Early On and Providing Intensive Interventions to Get Them Back on Track. (16)(20)
    • Help local school districts pursue voluntary integration and reduce racial inequality, in the face of a reactionary Supreme Court. Hillary will: (1) Direct the Attorney General to appoint teams of EOE (Equal Opportunity in Education) consultants and deploy them to advise local school districts who want to design the most effective and proactive voluntary integration programs permitted under the Supreme Courtís recent ruling; and, Provide $10 million to help school districts implement these plans. (31)
  • Education, Occupational Schools: Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities
  • Education, College
    • "Bring more women and minorities into the math, science, and engineering professions. . . . Hillary will direct the federal agencies to adopt criteria that take diversity into account when awarding education and research grants. Clinton also proposes that the federal government provide financial support to college and university programs that encourage women and minorities to study math, science, and engineering" (5).
    • Clinton identifies a $250 million Graduation Fund "to close the diploma gap with incentive grants that challenge four-year colleges to launch performance-based efforts to improve their graduation rates, especially among low-income and minority students".(21)
    • Challenge Selective Colleges to Expand Access for Students from Low-Income Communities. Hillary is challenging some of the most selective schools in the U.S. to further expand access for low-income and minority students by spending a greater percentage of their endowment annually on recruiting more low-income students and students of color, supporting them so that they graduate and growing the pipeline of students that are prepared to compete for admission to the most selective schools. (5)

  • Education, Professional Schools - No specific plans.
  • Education, Law School - No specific plans.
  • Education, Post-Graduate, PhD - No specific plans.

Environmental Racism
  • No specific plans.

  • Health Status
    • No specific plans.
    • Gun Control - No specific plans.
    • Alcohol and Drug Controls -  Addresses Issue but no plans for  eliminating racial inequalities
    • Analysis: Clinton plans completely misses the issue of the 100,000 excess death a year that occur among the black population. Her plan single's out three health status issues: Cancer (11), Autism (12) and HIV/AIDs (13). However, plans doesn't include any recognition of the specific targeting of the African American community or any community of color. However, Clinton does include that Clinton will reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care by "providing $50 million in federal funding for the development of culturally and linguistically competent clinical care programs, to ensure that our healthcare providers can communicate with their patients and have training and skills to fully understand and respect cultural differences in the patients they serve". What is unclear is whether these funds will be specifically targeted to her fight against cancer or whether this just a restatement of her plan to address diversity and culturally competency. In her plan to Fight HIV/AIDs, Clinton sets as her goal to Halt and Reverse the Burden of AIDS Among African-Americans and Latinos , "Hillary will increase funding for the Minority AIDS Initiative, and work to ensure that it helps to foster and support the prevention and treatment efforts of minority-run community based organizations. This effort is particularly important in the African American community, as African Americans in the U.S. account for approximately 13% of the population, yet make up almost half of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Hillary will work to end the disproportionate impact of AIDS on this community and seek to halt the growth of HIV in other minority communities as well. In addition, Clinton will seek to increase cooperation with the clergy and other religious leaders in the black and Hispanic communities, to determine how churches can play a role in reducing the number of new infections. Finally, Clinton will work to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities throughout our entire health care system, to ensure that African Americans and Latinos living with HIV and AIDS have access to quality care and treatment".
  • Health Care
    •  Universal Health Care Insurance Coverage.(7),  (11)
    •  "Address Diversity and Cultural Competency in the Healthcare Workforce: Provide opportunities and incentives to encourage greater diversity in our health care workforce through recruitment initiatives, scholarships and loan-forgiveness programs". (7),
    • " Reduce Health Care Disparities: Racial and ethnic disparities are pervasive throughout our entire health care system. In 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found "that racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities are national problems that affect health care at all points in the process, at all sites of care, and for all medical conditions - in fact, disparities are pervasive in our health care system." Minorities are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer and colorectal cancer compared to whites, and Hispanics hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction are less likely to receive optimal care. Infant mortality rates among African American populations are more than twice as high as those for whites. According to the annual National Healthcare Disparities Report, released by the AHRQ, blacks and Hispanics received poorer quality care than whites on more than 70 percent of the measures. To address these problems, Senator Clinton will:
    • Reduce Racial and Ethnic Disparities as Part of the National Quality Agenda: Require the development and testing of quality measures for use by doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other providers targeted at racial and ethnic disparities in health care.

    • Require More Accurate Data Collection: Direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a uniform reporting format for the collection of quality information on race and ethnicity, so that we can know the full extent of the problem and measure our progress in addressing it.

    • Improve Cultural Competency in Clinical Care: Provide $50 million in federal funding for the development of culturally and linguistically competent clinical care programs, to ensure that our healthcare providers can communicate with their patients and have training and skills to fully understand and respect cultural differences in the patients they serve.

    • Prioritize the Development of Medical Homes Designed to Improve Quality for Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Provide enhanced payments to healthcare providers who use coordinated care or medical home models and the practice of evidence-based medicine, designed to ensure that race and ethnicity are not a factor in the quality of care received. " (7)

    • Assuring Providers in the community. Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities.

  • Analysis: Clinton's plan does specifically address the issue of racial health care disparities. Clinton includes racial data collection which is essential. However, Clinton does not include increasing the numbers of minority health care providers or improving the anti-discrimination laws. Although Clinton plans on empowering patients by giving them more information about the quality of care for providers, there is no indication that it will include information about health care disparities by the provider. In her plan. Ironically her "Plan to fight cancer" includes eliminating insurance and genetic discrimination but Clinton only plans to reduce racial/ethnic discrimination which Clinton calls disparities. (11)
  • Long Term Care - Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (10)

  •  Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (39)

  • Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (30)

  • Definition: Intersectionality holds that the classical models of oppression within society, such as those based on race/ethnicity gender, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, class, or disability do not act independent of one another; instead, these forms of oppression interrelate creating a system of oppression that reflects the "intersection" of multiple forms of discrimination.
  • Disabilities - Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (38)
  • Sexual Orientation - Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (35)
  • Religion - No specific plan.
  • Gender - Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities. (27)
  • Rural - no specific plan
  • Veterans - Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities .(25), (26)


Media and Internet 
  • Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities .

New Orleans and Gulf Coast Recovery
  • No specific discussion of eliminating racial inequalities.

Poverty and Welfare
  • No specific plans.

Property and Housing
  • Addresses issue but no plan for eliminating racial inequalities (2) (3)

Voting Rights
  • "Proposed the Count Every Vote Act (CEVA) which promotes the accuracy, integrity, and security of the election process by requiring the preservation of a voter-verified paper ballot that serves as the official record of any recount and random mandatory audit. It demands improved security measures for electronic voting machines and takes steps to reduce voting errors. CEVA would also make it easier to vote by absentee ballot and would improve poll worker training." (29)
  • Strengthen our voting laws so that every citizen can fully exercise his or her constitutional right to vote. Hillary will: (1) Sign the Count Every Vote Act into law.; (2) Combat voter ID laws that have a disproportionate negative impact on minorities; and, (3) Extend voting rights to citizens of D.C. (31)
  • Strengthen our voting laws so that every citizen can fully exercise his or her constitutional right to vote. Hillary will: (1) Sign the Count Every Vote Act into law.; (2) Combat voter ID laws that have a disproportionate negative impact on minorities; and, (3) Extend voting rights to citizens of D.C. (31)


Discussion Forum



  1. Hillary Clintonís Economic Blueprint for the 21st Century: Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/middleclass/ , (Last Visited: January 17, 2008)

  2. Hillary Calls On Wall Street To Address Housing Crisis, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4530 , (Last Visited: January 17, 2008)

  3. Plan to Address Mortgage Lending Abuses; Preserve Dream of Home Ownership, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2730 , (Last Visited: January 17, 2008)

  4. Hillary Clintonís American Retirement Accounts Plan: A 401(k) Plan For All Americans, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3632 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  5. Hillary Clintonís Innovation Agenda: Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3656, , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  6. Rebuild America Plan, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2760 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  7. Health Care Plan, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/healthcareplan/ , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  8. Agenda to Improve the Quality of Health Care, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/healthquality/, (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  9. Agenda To Help Seniors And Their Families Afford Quality Long-Term Care, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4592 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  10. Protect Elderly Consumers from Fraud and Deceptive Marketing in the Long-Term Care Insurance Market, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=2862 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  11. Plan to Fight Cancer, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3035 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  12. Help Children And Families Affected By Autism, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4342, (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  13. Plan to Fight HIV/AIDS At Home And Abroad, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4392 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  14. Ending the War in Iraq, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/iraq/ , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  15. Energy Independence and Global Warming, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/energy/ , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  16. Improving Schools, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/education/, (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  17. Universal Pre-K, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/prek/ , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  18. Hillary's Youth Agenda, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/youthopportunity/ (Last Visited: Jan 13, 2008).

  19. Energy and Climate Crisis, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4057 , (Last Visited: Jan 13, 2008).

  20. Addressing the Crisis of Untapped Potential, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4403 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  21. Expanding Access to the American Dream: Hillary Clintonís Plan to Make College Affordable for Americaís Families, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3671 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  22. Hillary Clinton's Agenda for Working Families: Helping Parents Balance Work & Family , http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3743 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  23. Hillary Clinton: Promoting a Loving Family for Every Child, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4891 , (Last Visited: January 18, 2008)

  24. Hillary Clinton's Plan to Help Families Balance their Responsibilities to Parents and Children, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4970 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  25. New GI Bill for Veterans, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=1742 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  26. Hillary Clinton: Standing with Veterans and Honoring Their Service, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4888 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  27. A Champion for Women, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/women/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  28. Government Reform, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/reform/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  29. Comprehensive Government Plan for Reform, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/realplan/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  30. Hillary Clintonís Agenda to Reclaim Scientific Innovation, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3566 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  31. Promoting Civil Rights and Fighting Discrimination in the 21st Century, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=3306 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  32. Ensure Imported Products Are Safe For American Families, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4306 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  33. A Presidential Gulf Coast Recovery, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/katrina/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  34. Strengthening Democracy, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/voting/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  35. LGBT Plan, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/lgbt/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  36. Hispanic Plan, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/es/docs/agenda.aspx , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  37. Native American Agenda: Provide Vital Services and Support Tribal Sovereignty, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4076 , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008)

  38. Expanding Economic Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/ada/, (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).

  39. Reforming Our Immigration System, http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/immigration/ , (Last Visited: January 19, 2008).


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