Elle Hearns, Robbie Clark, Anita Moore and the rest of the #BlackLivesMatter team just started a petition to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz stating:
The #BlackLivesMatter network and our allies urge Democratic National Committee Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz to allow for more Presidential candidate debates leading up to the Presidential election in 2016, and to support a #BlackLivesMatter themed Presidential debate.
We just started a petition titled "Democracy Requires Real (And More) Debate: Demand A #BlackLivesMatter Presidential Debate"
Here's why this is important:
It is not enough to poll the Presidential candidates on whether or not they think "Black Lives Matter" or "All Lives Matter" -- we deserve substantive responses and policy recommendations. We deserve substance and not rhetoric. In fact, we demand it.
Limiting the number of debates unfairly privileges some candidates over others, and cheats voters out of the opportunity to fully engage candidates on issues we care about. Black voters, in particular, constitute a significant proportion of the potential voting bloc. Those of us who (reluctantly) give our votes to the Democratic Party deserve more robust forums on issues of particular concern to our communities, at home and abroad.
According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), in 2012, Black women voted at a higher rate than any other group, across ethnicity, gender and race. In fact, more than 70% of registered Black women voted in the 2012 Presidential election, and overwhelmingly voted Democrat. More than 61% of registered Black men voted in the 2012 Presidential election--less than 1% shy of voting turnout for white men.
This last year alone has demonstrated clearly that Black lives are under attack--from police violence to the murders of black trans women to economic disenfranchisement and neoliberal polices. It's time to extend the public conversation beyond the status quo. We want to hear candidates debate and offer tangible solutions to the myriad issues impacting Black people.Lifting the unfair restriction on the number of debates and supporting a Black Lives Matter Presidential debate is a step in the right direction.
Elle Hearns, Robbie Clark, Anita Moore and the rest of the BLM team