African-American voters expect their presidential candidate to at least talk about the issues that face our community. Unfortunately, we are not hearing much from Democratic presidential candidates, and absolutely nothing of substance from the Republican candidates.
If the African-American vote is so precious and sought after, why aren’t presidential candidates using these issues as an opportunity to connect with Black voters?
On Friday’s edition of NewsOne Now, guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon and his panel of guests discussed the notion of Democratic as well as Republican candidates needing minority votes to capture their respective party’s nominations, yet not fully embracing issues important to coveted minority voting blocks.
In the wake of Thursday night’s fiery Republican presidential debate, Barbara Arnwine, President of the Transformative Justice Coalition, said, “What I wanted to hear somebody ask last night was about jobs, I wanted to hear somebody ask last night about educational opportunity.”
She continued her list of topics missing from the GOP debate saying, “What about a Black woman on the Supreme Court?”
Will Jawando, a former White House official, explained African-American voters have to “pick between often not great options.” He later criticized the Republican party for not talking about any of the issues that impact the African-American community.
Jawando credited Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for “at least” addressing some of the issues. According to Jawando, during the last Democratic debate, the candidates spent “10 to 20 minutes on issues affecting the African-American community.” Some would still argue this amount of time is inadequate.
Jawando went on to say, “We need to call on all of our elected officials to address how me move forward as a country for all of our people, in particular, Black people.”
NewsOne Now panelist Dr. Chris Metzler said, “As it relates to the Republican party, I believe that the party can do a whole lot better in terms of outreach to Blacks that is not pandering.”
Dr. Leon interrupted Metzler’s statement about GOP candidates pandering to Black voters saying, “It’s called policy Chris, it’s very, very simple.”
“Politics is about policy output … without policy output you are wasting my time,” said Leon.
In recent years, both Republicans and Democrats could be called on the carpet for their supposed outreach to Black voters – or the lack thereof. Despite where this current crop of presidential candidates stands on issues important to the African-American community, Black voters should openly challenge them to deliver substantive policy solutions.
Watch guest host Dr. Wilmer Leon and the NewsOne Now panel discuss why presidential candidates are not fully addressing issues important to Black voters in the video clip above.
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