Clinton: Country Must Confront 'Implicit Bias' After Shootings

Image: Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)Mel Evans / AP

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By Andrew Rafferty

Hillary Clinton on Friday told NBC News’ Lester Holt that the country needs to do more to address “implicit bias” and said she will take a look at her own campaign rhetoric following a string of high-profile shootings this week.

In an interview on MSNBC, Clinton said Americans “have to be honest, all of us, in facing implicit bias that all of us, unfortunately, may still have.”

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She called for a national conversation on race, as well as criminal justice reform, national guidelines for police use of force, and support for law enforcement personnel across the country.

Those were also themes she echoed in a speech to a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. “White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day… Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job we need them to do,” she said.

Five police officers were killed and seven more injured in Dallas Thursday night at a peaceful protest following back-to-back police shootings of black men.

“We are unfortunately in the grip of some very divisive and hateful rhetoric,” Clinton said.

The shootings came in the wake of a particularly nasty presidential race between Clinton and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. She pledged to revisit the language she has used throughout the campaign.

“We have tried to stay away from name calling, but I will certainly take a hard look about what more we can do,” she said.

On a separate note, Clinton also defended her use of a personal email address while secretary of state, saying FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday helped show she did not knowingly send or receive classified emails.