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by Dr. Boyce Watkins
A group of African American media outlets recently approached both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney to ask if they would debate black issues in front of an African American audience. The request was reasonable, since both candidates had recently agreed to do the same thing for the Latino community. A group of black media outlets had gotten NBC news host Lester Holt to agree to moderate the debate, and we’re sure he could have done a much better job than Jim Lehrer of PBS, who was considered by many to be a failure.
But both candidates refused to appear, citing scheduling conflicts, and other random excuses that are used when something is not at the top of your priority list. My argument is that the candidates chose not to appear for two fundamental reasons: Obama takes the black vote for granted and Romney doesn’t think the black vote is worth fighting for.
I asked the question to readers on my Facebook page in order to get their opinions. The responses are listed below:
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.