The 2020 presidential election’s Democratic primaries are breaking new ground for how white politicians talk about race in America.
The big picture: Increasingly frank rhetoric around systemic racism and inequity resembles a “woke litmus test,” Democratic strategist Joel Payne told the AP.
White politicians commenting on race, as noted by AP:
- John Hickenlooper described his “shame” that some white people “kind of looked the other way during these lynching incidents.”
- Beto O’Rourke admitted he “clearly had advantages” as a white man.
- Elizabeth Warren acknowledged black single mothers struggled more than she did.
- Tim Ryan said he didn’t grow up around many black people.
- Pete Buttigieg said “any white candidate needs to show a level of consciousness around issues like white privilege.”
- Kirsten Gillibrand: “I guess I don’t see it that way” when asked whether she’d benefited from white privilege.
Between the lines: “Joe Biden’s presidential bid … could test whether it’s politically wise for candidates to speak so openly about race,” the AP reports.
- “Although he has positioned himself as a champion of racial equality, the former vice president is expected to wage a campaign aimed at winning back the working-class white voters who swung to Trump in 2016.”
- 2020 Democrats are ready to talk about racial inequality
- Reparations: Where the 2020 Democratic candidates stand