Sen. Elizabeth Warren was called out at a town hall on Thursday for labeling America’s justice system racist.
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Democrat trashed the justice system, according to The Guardian.
“Let’s just start with the hard truth about our criminal justice system: it’s racist,” she said, adding that the justice system was flawed “all the way, front to back.”
“Our prison system is something that America should be ashamed of. What we do to other human beings is fundamentally wrong,” she added during the question and answer session at Dillard University in New Orleans. The session was hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.
That slam at the justice system did not go over well with one constituent who spoke up Thursday during a town hall in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, according to The Daily Caller.
“You said that the justice system — and I just want to quote you, so I say it right — is ‘racist from front to back.’ I’m just concerned that your rhetoric there is inciting some of the, like, division that you claim the president is purporting,” said an audience member who identified himself as a “young American of color.”
The questioner noted that the justice system is not a white megalith.
“You say that Donald Trump undermines the justice system, but it highly concerns me that you made a blanket statement that the over 400 federal judges of color, thousands of law enforcement officers of color, and even the new black police commissioner of Boston of color are racist,” he said.
Warren insisted that she didn’t mean that the people in the justice system are racist.
“This wasn’t about individuals. I didn’t call any individual anything. What I was talking about is a system that has a lot of good people in it … who, by golly, have dedicated their lives to getting out there to try to build a justice that works,” she said.
.@SenWarren said our criminal-justice system is "racist … front to back." This divisive rhetoric endangers our officers. We need a Senator that believes in the law, and respects our police. #masen #mapoli @mapolicechiefs @massfop @masscopaflcio https://t.co/D1BaMEG2A7
— Beth Lindstrom (@BethLindstrom) August 8, 2018
Warren later told the media that she stood by her indictment of the justice system, according to Masslive.com.
“The best estimates are that African Americans and Whites smoke marijuana at about the same rates and yet, African Americans are about three-and-a-half times more likely to be arrested for possession,” she said. “There have been studies showing that in exactly — exactly — the same crimes committed by blacks and whites, that blacks are more likely to be arrested, and blacks are more likely to be prosecuted.”
Warren claimed President Donald Trump is “making that problem worse,” alleging — without naming names — that Trump has nominated federal judges “who will not even acknowledge that Brown v. the Board of Education is good law” and who tried to prevent black Americans from voting.
Columnist Rich Lowry, writing in the National Review, offered a rebuttal to Warren.
“Now, it’s entirely fair to argue that different rates of offending are a function of the vestiges of racism, and that it is urgent to pursue criminal-justice reform given how the status quo affects black families and communities. But the idea that we are living in a latter-day apartheid South Africa, with a system designed to jail and immiserate blacks out of sheer maliciousness, is contemptible, poisonous, and wrong,” he wrote.
He then suggested the roots of Warren’s attack are in the complex web of politics surrounding the Democratic Party in its search for a 2020 presidential candidate.
“It is telling that Elizabeth Warren is going there. There are two reasons. One is that she has a Bernie Sanders problem: She is (to all appearances) a white politician who has overwhelmingly devoted herself to economic issues. She needs to play identity politics catch up. Two, in reaction to Trump, the Left is embracing a sweeping indictment of America as undemocratic and racist at the core,” he wrote. “Warren’s performance shows that the party is prepared to consider no critique of America too radical or out of bounds.”
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