Chelsea Clinton says she wants her three kids to understand that they are ‘white children of privilege’ — and to ‘erode that privilege throughout their lives’ in an effort to make sure that all Americans have the right to vote.
The 40-year-old former First Daughter spoke with Massachusetts Democratic Representative Ayanna Pressley on a ‘Women for Biden’ video call today, and the two discussed the US’ history of voter suppression, and the ways some people still face challenges in voting today.
Chelsea said that while she taught them about the importance of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, she also explained how that victory was ‘incomplete’ because many Americans have spent the decades since fighting for their right to vote.
Speaking out: Chelsea Clinton said today that she wants her three children to understand that they are ‘white children of privilege’ — and to ‘erode that privilege throughout their lives’
Chat: The 40-year-old former first daughter spoke with Massachusetts Democratic Representative Ayanna Pressley on a ‘Women for Biden’ video call today
‘My children are young,’ Chelsea said, according to Just The News, ‘but we believe that they’re young, but still citizens.
‘So we talked about the ratification of the 19th Amendment, and Women’s Equality Day, and about how fundamentally incomplete that victory was. So not to say it wasn’t a victory and it wasn’t important, but that it was so fundamentally flawed.’
She pointed out that while white women were awarded the right to vote in 1920, many other women — including black women and Native American women — were not.
The 19th Amendment prohibited the government from denying the vote on the basis of sex — but it didn’t guarantee the vote to all. It didn’t ban local and state-level laws, like poll taxes and literacy tests, from being used to keep non-white voters from the polls.
These weren’t banned until the Voting Rights Act of 1964.
Chelsea, who lives in New York with husband Marc Mezvinsky and their three children, also alluded to laws and hurdles that other Americans face when it comes to voting.
‘These fights aren’t just in our history books. These are still active, ongoing fights,’ she said.
History: Chelsea said that while she taught them about the importance of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, she also explained how that victory was ‘incomplete’ because many Americans have spent the decades since fighting for their right to vote
”My children are young,’ Chelsea said, according to Just The News , ‘but we believe that they’re young, but still citizens’
‘You know, 40 per cent of Americans with disabilities report that they have real challenges voting in person.
‘And so in states where there haven’t been, kind of, no-excuse absentee voting or where there hasn’t been the introduction of early voting yet, you know, it still isn’t, kind of, easy, fair, or equal for many Americans to vote.’
She said she wants her kids — five-year-old Charlotte, four-year-old Aidan, and one-year-old Jasper — to be aware of their privilege and use it to fight for others.
‘I think it’s really important that my children understand that,’ she said. ‘And I think it’s particularly important that they understand that as white children of privilege, because I want them to erode that privilege throughout their lives to ensure more people are enfranchised and that equality isn’t just an ideal.’
Rep. Pressley praised Chelsea, telling her that she was modeling ‘that which my mother certainly believed, which is that a parent is a child’s first teacher.’
‘I so appreciate that you’re providing that full education, because we know that often there is a revisionist history or a sanitizing or filtering of history that does not tell the whole story,’ she said.
Open doors: She said she wants her kids — five-year-old Charlotte, four-year-old Aidan, and one-year-old Jasper (pictured) — to be aware of their privilege and use it to fight for others
Flashback: She and her husband Marc Mezvinksy pictured with son Aidan and Chelsea’s parents shortly after she gave birth in 2016
‘But confronting that past, that’s really how we get to truth and reconciliation.
‘And we fortify ourselves to continue to do the work to make sure that we are dismantling those barriers that still exist, and that we are in cooperative affront to the voter suppression and intimidation tactics that are still very real today — what I would consider, equivalent to like modern day jelly bean counting.’
Earlier this month, Chelsea spoke to Marie Claire about the importance of voting this year.
Good: Rep. Ayanna Pressley praised Chelsea, telling her that she was modeling ‘that which my mother certainly believed, which is that a parent is a child’s first teacher’
‘I’m voting on November 3 because who is in office at every level matters, especially in moments of crisis,’ she said.
‘We need elected officials who believe that all people — regardless of race, religion, sex, gender or who they love — are created equal; that access to quality healthcare and education is a fundamental human right.
‘We need elected officials who make decisions rooted in science and facts. We need elected officials who are committed to making voting easier for all Americans.
‘Voting is not only our opportunity, it is our duty as citizens to be heard and shape the future we want for ourselves, our children, our communities, our country and world. And, as we’ve seen time and time again, every vote counts.’
During the 2016 campaign, Chelsea’s mom, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was asked to talk about her own white privilege and how she thinks she has benefitted from it.
‘I think it is hard when you’re swimming in the ocean to know exactly what’s happening around you so much as when you’re standing on the shore watching,’ she said.
Votes: Hillary Clinton (pictured this week at the unveiled of a stature of women’s rights activists) was asked during the 2016 about her own white privilege
She explained that she was born white and middle class, she went to good public schools, she had ‘a very strong, supportive family,’ went to a ‘wonderful college’ and law school.
‘I never really knew what was or wasn’t part of the privilege, I just knew that I was a lucky person and that being lucky was in part related to who I am, where I’m from, and the opportunities I had,’ she said.
Unlike her mother, Chelsea did not only attend ‘good public schools’, she also had the benefit of a private education.
When Chelsea’s father Bill was in the White House, her parents faced criticism when they made the decision to pull her out of public school and send her to Sidwell Friends School, a private school in Maryland.
She then went on to attend Stanford University, where she studied history, before going on to earn a Masters and then a PhD from the prestigious Oxford University. Chelsea later studied for a second Masters at Columbia.
Chelsea now serves as vice chair of her parents’ Clinton Foundation, and also holds positions on the boards for Barry Diller’s company IAC and the School of American Ballet.
Meanwhile her husband, 42, secured a job at private equity firm TPG in October 2019, having been unemployed for year after leaving his role as vice chairman of Social Capital.