When Republicans meet in Colorado Wednesday night it will be the first time in more than 100 days that someone other than Donald Trump was on top. Polls indicate that Dr. Ben Carson is leading “The Donald” 26% to 22%.
With a black man leading the race to the White House, and the media still buzzing about Monday’s video of white sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields slamming and throwing a black teenage girl across the classroom, now might be a good time to talk about what’s on everyone’s mind—racism and excessive force by police against African Americans.
Now would be a perfect time while the world is watching for a black presidential candidate to show some sensitivity toward black people from the debate stage. It would also show support from the Republican Party.
I would like to think that a man as brilliant as Dr. Carson who professes to have the highest moral values would come out against injustice.
I wish I could say with certainty that such a scenario would actually happen. But if the history of the Republican Party and of politicians in general is any indicator, candidates will probably talk about everything except the elephant in the room.
Carson has already said the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is sending the “wrong message.” Trump referred to the movement as “trouble.” With the two frontrunners spouting these attitudes, there is little wonder the party gets such a bad rap on race relations.
It’s amazing how the GOP continues to struggle with its racist identity, yet refuses to put forth serious effort toward changing it. Seems they are either totally denying racism exists anymore or they are blaming the victims. Of course, Carson should not be the only one held accountable. I have seen no one –Republican or Democrat—with a serious agenda for changing how policing is done in this country.
The GOP needs to transform its image and get real about issues of social justice, economic justice, police reform, and racial profiling. But they continue to play the same old record: taxes, abortion, government spending and illegal immigration. In this election cycle, priorities are to defund Planned Parenthood, build a large wall between the U.S. and Mexico, cut social programs and weaken provisions of Obamacare.
If the school incident between Fields and his female victim is mentioned at all, it will probably be used to win debate points.
Are we not enough “in their faces” to make Republicans pay attention? Has frustration with the GOP led to a quiet resignation that they will never do anything significant to improve race in this country? Have we just accepted that we cannot expect any help from them?
Up to this point, BLM has met with Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Members disrupted a Sanders rally a few months ago. I do not see the same tactics being used at Republican campaign stops (which makes me wonder), though BLM leaders have promised to disrupt all presidential candidates.
Making candidates take a stand on excessive force and abuse of power during a televised debate can best be accomplished by those who are asking the questions. Black media does not have access to the debate stage, as CNN does. We’re not asking the questions. Getting the likes of Carson, Trump and other candidates to realize that black lives do matter will require finding new ways to amplify our voices.