Black Voters. With the help of Fox News, ten candidates running for the presidency of the U.S. rendered the Black Agenda virtually invisible for over two hours during a debate watched by 1 out of ever 6 households in the U.S.
Almost no policy issue disproportionately impacting African American was discussed. Topics ignored included police brutality, income inequality, the entrenched difference between jobless rates in black and white, voting rights, justice reform, health care and HBCUs.
For a fleeting two minutes Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker about the Black Lives Matter movement’s general concern that, “overly-aggressive police officers targeting young African Americans is the civil rights issue of our time.” Walker was the only GOP candidate to respond. His answer included a mention of Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke whois known, as many Black GOP darlings are, as a critic of other African Americans who is often brought in as a Black shill for peripheral “discussions on race.”
After a commercial the subject switched back to foreign policy — hardly a topic burning up around the water coolers or on facebook.
Despite efforts by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and GOP candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), to reach to Black audiences, barely any topic relevant to Black communities were discussed as an audience of over 24 million watched.
Ignoring Black issues isn’t new for the Republican party. But as the country becomes more Black and Hispanic and Republicans struggle for minority votes, it’s a strategy that’s a proven loser. Black women now vote at a highest percentage than any other voting block in America. In 2012, Blacks voted at a higher percentage than whites for the first time in history.
Issues around China, Iraq, the Iranian Arms deal and the bankruptcy declarations of Donald Trump were discussed last night. Almost every other topic under the sun was more important than issues that disproportionately impact African Americans.
Fox’s three moderators spent much of the night going after Donald Trump rather than on hard policy impacting millions of Americans whether they be black or white. Towards the end of the debate, Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked Trump, “when did you become a Republican?” The first question of the debate was an effort by the moderators to get Trump to pledge he wouldn’t run as an independent — a major concern of the RNC and the GOP establishment since it would likely guarantee another White House victory for the Democrats.