February 25, 2020 - Candidates Asked About Policies to Address Racial Disparities at Tenth Democratic Debate

At the tenth Democratic presidential debate, between a group of all white contenders, candidates are asked about their own records and policies to address racial disparities. Bloomberg is attacked for stop-and-frisk policies while mayor of New York. While Buttigieg calls the policy racist, he also notes the whiteness on the debate stage in discussing these issues: “And I come to this with some humility because I’m conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice. None of us — none of us have the experience, the lived experience of, for example, walking down the street, or in a mall, and feeling eyes on us, regarding us as dangerous, without knowing the first thing about us just because the color of our skin.” Recognizing the layered identities of race and gender, he adds, “None of us had the experience that Black women have had that drives that maternal mortality gap that we are all rightly horrified by, of going into a doctor, and being less likely to have your description of being in pain believed because of your race.” Biden says, “We’ve got to deal with the institutional racism,” and describes both a record and plan for doing this in areas like voting rights and housing. Steyer says, “Every single policy area in the United States has a gigantic subtext of race,” and argues he is the only candidate calling for reparations. Sanders calls for marijuana legalization as one policy that will address racism in the criminal justice system, while also calling on targeted support for Black, Latino, and Native Americans to start legal marijuana businesses.