Hillary Clinton said Tuesday when asked about a comparison between civil unrest in 1968 and 2020 that there are “probably more differences” than similarities between the two years.
“I think there are certainly some similarities, but I think there are probably more differences,” the former secretary of State said in a virtual event held by the humanitarian organization CARE.
Clinton noted that riots and demonstrations in 1968 occurred during “a time of great tumult in our country” that also included the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.
“It led to the election of a law-and-order president who sadly did not follow the rule of law and was impeached and resigned from office,” she added, referring to President Nixon. “There are certain similarities but I think the moment we are going through now is extraordinary in the best sense of the word.”
Clinton remarked that this year has seen an “outpouring across America led by young people, a multiracial multiethnic collective, people coming out to say we are not going to put up with this anymore, there must be changes, is much bigger [and] more long-lasting.”
Recent protests, she added, are “provoking a more positive response from elected leaders from police chiefs, to mayors and governors, obviously members of legislatures and Congress to look and see what can be changed in the law and in regulation that will protect black lives.”
The former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee added, “I’m hoping that the energy, and the very positive impulse of the peaceful protesters will help to bring about significant change.”
“We still have a lot of work to do,” she said, expressing hope that rather than “a quick and unfortunate interruption” the protests would signal “a lasting mobilization of young people so that they will not just protest in the streets, they will vote.”
Protests have swept the U.S. for nearly two weeks, occurring in every U.S. state, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody after a white officer knelt on his neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s protests that he was unable to breathe.