One of the main complaints from African American liberals regarding the Democratic presidential debates have been their lack of attention on real issues facing African Americans.
Another complaint has been the lack of diversity on the debate stage – especially now that former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has dropped out of the race after his dismal performance in the New Hampshire Primary.
Patrick said this after failing to qualify for the January debate at Drake University:
“The remaining candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president, and in particular, those who have the privilege of being on the debate stage tonight must keep the issues facing people of color in the forefront as we address the future of our country.”
The candidates that night did not heed Patrick’s advice according to Newsone.com, a website that claims it is a “destination for news and information for and about Blacks in America.”
“But aside from the above and fleeting references during the candidates’ closing remarks, there was no hint of a hearty or substantial debate on the plight of Black and brown people in America. Nothing on gun violence, poverty, trans women of color, Black infant and maternal health or criminal justice reform — all pressing issues for Black and brown folks as well as the rest of America. There is also a homelessness crisis in California that’s gone unchecked and has disproportionately affected Black people. Yet, there was no debate about of any of the above issues.”
Admittedly, issues important to African Americans gained more prominence in this last debate in Las Vegas. The only reason for that was the $60 billion dollar gorilla that was on the stage this time. And no, I’m not talking about Tom Steyer.
Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, and his half a billion dollars in ad spending, helped him rise in the polls and qualify for this debate. Bloomberg took incoming fire from his rivals on “Stop and Frisk” and his controversial comments on young African American males:
“Ninety-five percent of your murders — murderers and murder victims — fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city.”
These are young men with bleak futures due to many factors but a main factor is their lack of a quality education. As I said earlier this week, a quality education is the civil rights issue of our time but too many children are trapped in teacher’s union dominated school districts.
Bloomberg took fire from liberals and the teachers unions in 2013 after he compared them to the National Rifle Association:
“It’s typical of Congress, it’s typical of unions, it’s typical of companies, I guess, where a small group is really carrying the ball and the others aren’t necessarily in agreement. The N.R.A. is another place where the membership, if you do the polling, doesn’t agree with the leadership… No. 1, there’s the UFT. (United Federation of Teachers) You want to go after somebody, that’s as good an example as anything.”
I guess its no surprise that the American Federation of Teachers union is not endorsing Bloomberg but is instead encouraging its local and state chapters to support Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden.
Ninety percent of African American Democratic primary voters support vouchers and charter schools. A “free” college education is worthless if your pre college foundation is built on sand.