The debate questions left unasked…

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4 mins read

In our voting guide, we asked people to use Politico’s “views-on-the-issues” list and Washington Post’s candidate quiz to help them determine which candidate best encompassed their values. Now, we’re asking people to go further. The transformation of America into the forward-looking country we need requires us, as the military says, to “leave no one behind,” regardless of race, religion, physical abilities or gender. To be truly indivisible. Today’s action is informational, a moment to listen to what was missed from the national discussion.

“Dear Debate Moderators, There Are More ‘Black Issues’ Besides Crime and Poverty”

On Tuesday, Michael Harriot, columnist for The Root,  published his analysis of the televised debates.

“...I have noticed that the political narrative about race—especially during this election cycle—has focused almost exclusively on four issues:

  • Black criminals: Police brutality, the ’94 crime bill, stop and frisk, mass incarceration and the drug war
  • Poor black people: Poor “urban” areas, segregation, redlining
  • Dumb black people: Unequal black schools, test scores, and teaching black kids to read with record players
  • White supremacist violence: Nazi marches, Trumpism and right-wing terrorism

If one is lucky enough to catch the 91 seconds during each debate when candidates are asked to address racial issues, it is easy to assume that the entirety of black America is either poor, uneducated, unemployed, in jail or running from Nazis wearing MAGA hats. Debate moderators, media outlets and candidates condense the concerns of black voters down to four categories because they really don’t care about “black issues.” They just want to look like they care.”  

Harriot then detailed the questions that should have been asked, and on Friday, he published a candidate comparison based on a policy matrix of pressing social issues created by Black policy experts, legal scholars and political pundits. Read the results here.

A comprehensive outline of what is necessary for a just America.

Black to the Future, a “think tank/act tank that works to make Black Communities powerful in politics” has published an amazing statement of vision and values, copied in full below, whose generosity of spirit extends far beyond the Black community.  (They are endorsing Elizabeth Warren.) If their recommendations were adopted, they would touch upon and improve the lives of all Americans.

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“We’ve had an overwhelming investment in doctors and medicine,” said Sandro Galea, dean of the Boston University School of Public Health. “We need to invest in prevention — safe housing, good schools, living wages, clean air and water.” (WAPO)

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“The infant mortality rate of black babies is twice as high as that of white newborns, according to HHS. Babies born to well-educated, middle-class black mothers are more likely to die before their first birthday than babies born to poor white mothers with less than a high school education, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.” (WAPO)

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Footnotes here: BlackAgenda2020

Bonus reading – “Segregation had to be invented” (Atlantic)

Originally posted at Indivisible Ventura. Re-posted with permission.


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