Why Andrew Yang thinks candidates of color have been shut out of the Democratic debates

Why Andrew Yang thinks candidates of color have been shut out of the Democratic debates

15 Jan    Finance News

Andrew Yang has a theory for why there are barely any candidates of color left in the Democratic primary race.

After Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) dropped out earlier this week, Yang remains the only person of color in the Democratic race with a solid base of support. And as he tells Politico ahead of Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, that dilemma stems from “inequities and financial realities” that affect people of color outside of politics, too.

While Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made the December debate stage, she dropped out of the 2020 race due to a lack of financial support beforehand, leaving Yang the only person of color in that debate. That left him feeling “a bit of extra pressure” to talk about race both in the debate and in his campaign in general, he told Politico. “Race has not been the central theme of my campaign from the beginning,” Yang said, but added “it’s more natural to talk about it when you’re literally the only person of color on a national debate stage.”

Now, Yang has been barred from Tuesday’s debate after he failed to make the Democratic National Committee’s polling threshold, leaving six white candidates on the stage. This, Yang says, “reflects the realities of our society where being able to run for office and contribute to political campaigns requires a degree of disposable income. If you’re black or Latino in the country, you are much less likely to have disposable income.”

DNC Chair Tom Perez defended the thresholds as a “remarkably inclusive and frankly low bar” which have resulted in “the most diverse field in American history.”

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