A candidate for president slurs members of one immigrant group as rapists and later proposes to ban members of a particular religion from coming to the United States. Another presidential hopeful regularly denounces “systemic racism,” a term formerly reserved for radical critique, from the podium in prime-time speeches. A television host refers to jobless blacks as people who “are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads” a few days after a former president gets into a heated exchange with a Black Lives Matter activist.
Coming at the end of the tenure of America’s first biracial president, and in a political environment reshaped by Ferguson and Flint, the 2016 presidential campaign has produced rather abundant and unusually blunt talk about racism, exclusion and privilege.
But who’s really part of that conversation? What’s it missing? And what will happen to the exchange when the campaign rallies are over?
StraightUp, the bar-based reporters’ roundtable I have the pleasure of hosting on BRIC-TV, invited Tanzina Vega of CNN, Rebecca Carroll of WNYC and independent journalist Donovan X. Ramsey to pull up a chair and talk about their take on race, the race and the way a media still dominated by white men (present author included) portrays it all.
Here’s the full show:
But if you’re racing out the door to, I don’t know, fix your voter registration in time for the general election, you might want to catch these clips first. In this one, we size up the racial dynamic in the Clinton-Sanders matchup:
While here we talk about the awkward language and contested territory of “diversity in the newsroom.”
And just when you thought our discussion had gotten nice and sober, we play a drinking game of identifying famous peoples’ statements regarding race: