ONLINE EXCLUSIVE BY JESSICA LYNK
“White privilege is a term that more people are talking about openly these days. Certainly people like me have long understood what it means. Secretary Clinton, can you tell us what the term white privilege means to you and can you give me an example from your life or your career when you think you have benefited from it?” asked Drake junior Thalia Anguiano of former secretary and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“Well..” Clinton began as the crowd broke out into applause “Where do I start?”
Anguiano beamed on stage at Sheslow after the crowd applauded. She was asking the tough questions of the candidate, the point of the night.
Monday evening was the seventh Brown and Black forum. A non-partisan event meant to challenge candidates on topics that aren’t commonly discussed, specifically in the minority community. Clinton was just one of the Democratic presidential candidates that were in attendance. Former Gov. Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders also took the stage to discuss topics, on tough issues.
Anguiano sat behind four moderators, Rembert Browne, Akilah Hughes, Alicia Menendez and Jorge Ramos, who moderated the event for Fusion, a network created by ABC and Univision.
“It is not really explainable, it is just one of those things that you have to experience to know how it feels like,” Anguiano said.
Also behind the moderators were 17 other students, including Drake’s own junior Jared Freemon. The experience gave Freemon a different perspective.
“I never understood how much work it took to set-up for this event,” Freemon said. “Before the candidates even got here, we had rehearsals yesterday for awhile to get everything to flow really nicely so that was really cool to see.”
The forum began in 1984 by activists Mary E. Dominguez Campos and Wayne Ford. It was the first of its kind, as a non-partisan forum that provided minorities an opportunity for their voice to be heard as well.
For Anguiano, this was a key part to the event.
“It is obviously important not only because of the types of populations that we have here at the university, but also in the state of Iowa,” Anguiano said “It’s the fifth whitest state in the nation, so having this event here is really going to hopefully get the viewers back at home and here at school to realize that these are actual societal issues that haven’t been really addressed at all very much until now and hopefully just raises awareness before caucus time rolls around.”
Freemon even believes it was a key part to hosting the event on campus, considering a majority of students at Drake are white.
“On the Drake level, Drake has done a few things to try and recognize its lack of diversity and some of the issues that we are facing,” Freemon said. “So holding forums like this to show that we are at Drake facing some of the same issues, I think will allow us to move forward on some of the issues we face here on campus.”
Hosting the event allows Drake continue the conversation of diversity and inclusion, as the university hopes to continue to expand its diverse population in the coming years.
At the end of it night, Anguiano still did not get her question answered.
“Hillary didn’t answer my question and I am really pissed off,” Anguiano said. “But it is politics, so it is whatever.”