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HOUSTON (AP) — After touring the National Lynching Memorial recently, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper spoke of the “shame” he felt that some white people “kind of looked the other way during these lynching incidents.”
Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas has acknowledged he “clearly had advantages” as a white man. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has said that any struggle she faced as a single mom was much more challenging for black women. U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio has talked about not knowing many black people when he was growing up. And Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, recently said , “Any white candidate needs to show a level of consciousness around issues like white privilege.”
Rhetoric - Race - Strategist - Joel - Payne
Such rhetoric surrounding race is becoming what Democratic strategist Joel Payne called a “woke litmus test” for any white person who wants to win the Democratic presidential nomination. In a field celebrated for its historic racial and gender diversity, white candidates are talking about systemic racism and white privilege to connect with voters of color and prove that America’s racial divisions aren’t lost on them.
“All candidates, especially nonethnic minority candidates, need to be fluent in the issues that matter most to black America — police brutality, criminal justice reform, reparations, social justice,” said Payne, an alumnus of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
White - Candidates - Contenders - Chance - Voters
White presidential candidates are among the contenders who will have another chance to connect with voters of color on Wednesday at the She the People forum in Houston. The event, which is focused on women of color, includes O’Rourke, Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont as speakers.
There are clear risks to Democrats who embrace talk of white privilege. Candidates could lose the moderate white men who live in suburbs and whose support will be necessary to defeat President Donald Trump....
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