The Democratic debate next week is making history by holding it in Tyler Perry's production studio in Atlanta. This is the first time an African American forum is being used to host a presidential debate.
I love Tyler Perry. For many years, I’ve attended his plays and watched his movies. If you've ever seen one of his plays on stage or watched his films in the theater, you sense his appeal to many in the African American community.
The community I'm talking about are every day hardworking folks. The fact that the debate is being held at his studio is something every day black folks are talking about. We're proud. This is a big step in recognizing race issues as it pertains to politics.
But it's not enough. It's not enough for several reasons.
First, I love the moderators are all female, but there's only one black woman on the panel. We need to be represented more equally.
Second, the location doesn't necessarily mean that the questions or answers are going to speak to us. In the last debate, for instance, the moderators asked the candidates who they were friends with who did not share their views. The answers ranged from Former Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to others preferring no response. This has no bearing on my community.
So, what do every day black people want to hear about from our Democratic candidates? We want to make sure our jobs are secure and pay good wages. We want to make sure we can send our kids to college. We want to make sure we have affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for our families. We want affordable housing. We want to make sure we don’t bury our sons and daughters due to police shootings.
The quality of healthcare and its accessibility and affordability is a concern among African Americans. Black mothers are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from childbirth or complications shortly thereafter than white mothers. Black babies are twice as likely to die as infants than white babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) states the odds of black women surviving childbirth compares to countries with significant poverty.
And the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CRED) recommends that the U.S. a