The fifth Democratic Debate was last night. Per usual, there were too many people on stage, too many expected one-liners and not enough Black issues being addressed. However, there were some shining moments and Twitter had a ball.
On the stage were Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey; Sen. Bernie Sanders; Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttiegeg, former Vice President Joe Biden and others. Sadly, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro did not qualify, even after many people, including Angela Rye have called him the “racial justice candidate.”
One of the most-talked about moments of the night was when Cory Booker laid into Biden for saying “marijuana is a gateway drug.” Booker said, “Marijuana in our country is already legal for privileged people. The war on drugs has been a war on Black and brown people. This week I hear him literally say that, ‘I don’t think we should legalize marijuana.'”
He then landed the punchline, “I thought you might have been high when you said it.”
Biden then tried to defend himself and things worsened. “I think we should decriminalize marijuana, period. I think anyone who has a record should be let out of jail, their records expunged, completely zeroed out.”
He continued, “I am part of that Obama coalition. I come out for the Black community in terms of my support.” The former Vice President then added, “The only African American woman who’d ever been elected to the United States Senate.”
Only problem is, the second Black woman elected to the Senate was right on the stage with him — Kamala Harris.
Biden was trying to reference former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun from Illinois, who was in the Senate from 1993 to 1999. See the clip below:
Harris received a round of applause for her passionate statement about Black voters, saying, “The larger issue is that for too long, I think candidates have taken for granted constituencies that have been the backbone of the Democratic Party. And have overlooked those constituencies. And they show up when it’s, you know, close to election time, and show up in a black church and want to get the vote but just haven’t been there before.”
See the reactions below:
Kamala Devi Harris is the 2nd Black Woman elected to the United States Senate and she is on the debate stage running for President. Put some respect on her trailblazing name! #DemDebate #DemocraticDebate #Kamala2020 #KamalaHarris pic.twitter.com/AWkjUcqK1L— BlackWomenViews Media (@blackwomenviews) November 21, 2019
True Dat. Black voters want more than to be the backbone or a wishbone. We want to help own the future of American politics and be allowed to sit at the table. Tokenism is old school. Inclusion is the way forward.#DemocraticDebate https://t.co/fjQjhgbpao— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) November 21, 2019
Since we are bringing up black and brown women, in the words of @angela_rye, Secretary @JulianCastro has been the "Chief Racial Justice Advocate" in the race.— Mayra Macías (@lachicamayra) November 21, 2019
Despite not being at this #DemocraticDebate, he’s already shaped the debate. https://t.co/qkcNXBSQe7
Cory Booker is KILLIN it tonight!! Kamala and Cory are neck and neck. Makes sense the 2 black candidates are in the lead seeing as the #DemocraticDebate is literally in Wakanda. Yang also having a good night.— Drew Comments (@sjs856) November 21, 2019
You better speak Senator @KamalaHarris! Black folks and black women in particular have shown up for the Democratic Party when the Democratic Party has not shown up for them/us. #DemocraticDebate #DemDebate— Donald Hughes (@donaldhughes) November 21, 2019