August 7, 2020
As America’s political parties release their policy platforms against the backdrop of racial justice uprisings, a global pandemic, and a deepening economic recession, nine major racial justice groups, together with Professor Darrick Hamilton, call for the parties to focus on racial equity as a core principle that should shape every policy for our country.
Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward, said, “Racial equity cannot be a discrete and separate ‘issue area’ in a context where systemic racism shapes every facet of American life. Whether the question is health care, jobs, public safety or even how democracy itself is unfolding, race today is still the central driver determining life outcomes.”
Professor Darrick Hamilton, the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and university professor at The New School, and a member of the Biden-Sanders unity task force, added, “We need to recognize that structural racism threatens our democracy and an economy grounded in shared prosperity.”
The nine organizations include Race Forward, People’s Action, the National Congress of American Indians, PolicyLink, the National Urban League, Demos, UnidosUS, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and Rights & Democracy.
These organizations argue that political parties need racially equitable solutions that benefit us all and that are grounded in a strong racial justice framework, racially and ethnically disaggregated data, and a commitment to measure success and progress in concrete terms.
They believe that leaders of color working in impacted communities are deeply cognizant of the problems we currently face and more importantly have clear and creative solutions that could transform our society from one of division, violence, and conflict, to one where all neighborhoods and communities thrive.
“In this moment, white supremacists are trying to build power through violence and intimidation, attacking core democratic principles,” said Harris. “If political parties aspire to lead this vast multiracial and multicultural country, they have a profound obligation to commit to racial equity in their platforms, rhetoric, policy and practice.”