Tag: poor peoples campaign

Background Briefing: January 20, 2020


83% of African Americans Say Trump Is a Racist

On this Martin Luther King Day we look into a number of stories and issues in the news with a focus on the issues facing African/Americans and the extent to which MLK’s “dream” has yet to be realized, particularly given the Trump Administration’s racist and reactionary rollback of gains made during the Obama Administration. We begin with Chris Parker, a professor of Social Justice and Political Science at the University of Washington. He is the principal investigator of the Multi-State Survey on Race and Politics and Director of the Center for Survey Research at the University of Washington and author of the forthcoming book, The Great White Hope: Donald Trump, Race, and the Crisis of American Democracy. We discuss the findings in the recent Washington Post-Ipsos Poll that 90% of African Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance, 83% say Trump is a racist, 77% say Trump deserves hardy any credit for the black unemployment rate and 76% say that what Trump is doing as president is bad for African Americans. With gun-toting white supremacists descending on the Virginia State capitol today, Trump’s dog whistles to white nationalists has become a howl and since the pendulum has swung so wildly from Obama to Trump, will it swing back again in terms of MLK’s promise that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice”?


The Likely Participation of African Americans in the Election

Then we examine the likely participation of the most loyal and reliable constituency of Democratic voters, African Americans, in the upcoming election given the failure of the campaigns by Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and concerns over the remaining field of presidential candidates being “too white” with some like Mayor Buttigieg, unable to make headway with black voters. Andra Gillespiea Professor of Political Science and Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University where she teaches courses on American politics and race, joins us. She is the author of The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America and her latest book is Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols, and Hope.


 The Revival of Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign

Then finally we examine the revival of Dr. King’s “Poor People’s Campaign” and how much poor whites, blacks and Latinos have in common and speak with a young Haitian-American activist, Jessicah Pierre, the Media Specialist for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies. Jessicah founded Queens Company, an organization dedicated to empowering women of color and she has an article at the Institute for Policy Studies’ website, Learning From King’s Last Campaign: Before he died, Martin Luther King Jr. joined a campaign to unify working people of all races. Today, nothing could be more powerful.