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4 Times The Republican Debate Failed To Address Race, #BlackLivesMatter
White privilege was on full display Thursday night at the Republican Party’s first presidential debate, which came on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark law that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
None of the 10 high-polling candidates who stood under klieg lights during the primetime debate at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, ever mentioned the anniversary. And the Fox News anchors who ran the two-hour event — Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier — never broached the issue. Clearly, all felt free — even the lone Black candidate — to ignore it.
The participants also failed to adequately address #BlackLivesMatter, arguably one of the biggest social justice movements since the civil rights era. They also failed to sufficiently address issues of race at a time when most Americans see a deterioration in Black-White relations.
Not a good look for a party that needs to double support among voters of color in order to win the White House in 2016.
Here are four times the candidates failed to adequately tackle race during the debate:
Well, I think the bully pulpit is a wonderful place to start healing that divide. You know, we have the purveyors of hatred, who take every single incident between people of two races and try to make a race war out of it, and drive wedges into people. What we need to think about instead, you know, I was asked by an NPR reporter once, why don’t I talk about race that often. I said it’s because I’m a neurosurgeon, and she thought that was a strange response. … I said, ‘You see, when I take someone to the operating room, I’m actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are. The skin doesn’t make them who they are, the hair doesn’t make them who they are, and it is time for to us move beyond that, because, you know, our strength as a nation comes in our unity. We are the United States of America, not the divided states, and those who want to destroy us are trying divide us, and we shouldn’t let them.
2. Scott Walker says #BlackLivesMatter is about police training.
When a moderator asked the Wisconsin governor how he would respond to overly-aggressive police officers targeting young African Americans,” which is the “the civil rights issue of our time,” Walker responded tepidly. He said he would push for proper training for law enforcement.
3. Donald Trump doubles down on slurs about Mexican immigrants.
While he drew heckles for claiming border patrol employees have told told him the Mexican government was sending criminals to the U.S., he failed to back away from the controversial comments. “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about illegal immigration,” said Trump. “We need to build a wall. We need to keep illegals out.”
4. Sen. Rand Paul tried to use President Obama as a bogeyman
In an effort to taint the candidacy of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Rand Paul recalled a hug between the governor and President Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy.
“I don’t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug and if you want to give him a big hug again, go right ahead,” Paul said. Christie hit back: “You know, Sen. Paul, the hugs that I remember are the ones I gave to the families who lost their people on Sept. 11.”
The GOP can do better. And the candidates are just making it easy for Democrats to elect the first woman as president of the U.S.
Carly Fiorina Drops The Mic At Happy Hour Debate
Seven lower-polling candidates participated in a 5 p.m. debate on Thursday. Participants included Carly Fiorina, Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore.
Google Trends named Fiorina, the former HP CEO, as the apparent winner of the so-called happy hour debate because @CarlyFiorina was the Republican contender searched for term in the most states during and after the debate.
Fiorina showed up ready to rumble, delivering zingers throughout the debate, which lasted a little over an hour. In closing remarks about Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, she said, “Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, lies about her emails, is still defending Planned Parenthood, and is still her party’s frontrunner.”
She dropped the mic and strolled her way onto the varsity squad. A prediction: she will be among the top 10 at the next GOP debate.
Rick Santorum’s Dred Scott Moment
When asked if the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision was the final say on the matter, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum said, “It is not, any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln.” The Washington Post explains:
He meant the 1857 Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott vs. Sandford, in which the court declared that African Americans could not be citizens. President Lincoln later–during the middle of a Civil War fought over the issue of slavery–issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in defiance of the Scott ruling’s racist logic.
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Announces 6 Primary Debates
Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thursday announced the debate schedule:
- October 13 – CNN – Nevada
- November 14 – CBS/KCCI/Des Moines Register – Des Moines, Iowa
- December 19 – ABC/WMUR – Manchester, New Hampshire
- January 17 – NBC/Congressional Black Caucus Institute – Charleston, South Carolina
- February or March – Univision/Washington Post – Miami, Florida
- February or March – PBS – Wisconsin
PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter