PLAN Responds to Black/Brown Debate

By Guest Columnist Jan 18, 2008

Bob Fulkerson, from Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), gives us his reaction to the Black-Brown debate on Tuesday. The “Black-Brown” debate should have been called the vanilla-light chit chat. This debate—and I blame the moderators for this–handled race exactly the way our country does: by sidestepping and avoidance. We spent a great deal of time working with allies at ARC, Green For All and CCC coming up with just the right questions about racial disparities in Nevada and nationally—questions that we were asked to submit by the sponsors. I told friends and colleagues to be sure to watch. The debate would be an historic event since never before had Democratic presidential candidates debated solely on the issues of racial equity. What a let down! Race barely made the list of questions. And when it did, both the questions and the answers were about as deep as our desert aquifer. While issues specific to African American and Latino communities were largely absent from the Black-Brown debate, Native issues were invisible. Of course, nothing about Yucca Mountain being located on Treaty lands claimed by the Western Shoshone Nation under the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. More teens are being pushed out of Nevada high schools than nearly any state in the country and the majority of those are students of color. Racial disparities in health are also rampant in the Silver State. You’d think the moderators of a Black-Brown debate would want to ask candidates for their takes on these issues.