Minority Moments in the 2020 Democratic Debate

The first 2020 Presidential Democratic Debate was the perfect opportunity for democratic voters to see who they want to support throughout the campaign. Something to note in comparison to previous debates, was the level of diversity these candidates had. For the first time we had 6 women, one of which was a Black woman, a Latino man, a Black man, and a gay man all sharing the stage in hopes to becoming the next president of the United States. This was a huge turning point in American history. There was a sense of pride some Democrats felt over these past two nights, even if they did not agree with all of the candidates. After the first night commentator Van Jones, said “I was super proud to be a democrat.” 

 Although most of the candidates had similar goals, they had different ways of getting there. There were definitely moments where the candidates either rose to the occasion or fell short, especially when the topics of minorities and race came up. Let’s go over the 3 moments of the debate that affected minorities. 


1. Immigration: Castro vs O'Rourke 

All of the Democrats on that stage believed that caging children and separating them from their families was wrong. However, where disagreement came in was the repeal of Section 1325, which does not “directly” allow the separation of families but, it criminalizes people coming across the border. So, if a family crosses the border, the parents can be criminalized and therefore be separated from their children. It’s almost like a loophole to what is currently happening. Julian Castro wants to repeal this, and he took a shot at Beto O'Rourke, who does not want it repealed. “I don't want to want to criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country,” said O’Rourke. But Castro strikes back saying “I'm not talking about the ones that are seeking asylum, I'm talking about everybody.” In a nutshell, the argument is about whether to repeal Section 1325 which could give the US the ability to separate kids from their parents by criminalizing the parents, for crossing the border. 

2. Unarmed Shooting: Buttigieg 

Police Officer Ryan O’Neill shot and killed Eric Logan earlier this month in John Buttigieg’s city South Bend, Indiana. O’Neill said Logan approached him with a knife, though his body camera was not on at the time of the shooting. A few days before the debate, Buttigieg held a Townhall discusing the murder. Many were angry and disappointed in his lack of action. One person yelling “We don’t trust you!” Buttigieg was confronted with this incident in the debates because his city is currently in anguish. His city is looking for him to make a move regarding the killing, but he hasn’t done anything yet. Buttigieg confronts the issue in the debate. He says “I’m not allowed to take sides until the investigation comes back...I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle, when they see a police officer approaching feels the exact same thing. The feeling not of fear, but of safety, I am determined to bring that day about.” Buttigieg not taking action for the murder is making him an unpopular candidate in his city. 

3. Bussing and State’s Rights: Harris vs Biden 

Kamala Harris called out Joe Biden on his past opinions on bussing, which is transporting students within or outside their school districts to promote racial integration. Harris said that Biden supported those who opposed the bussing. Harris asked Biden “Do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose bussing in America then?” Biden says “I did not oppose bussing in America. What I opposed is bussing ordered by the Department of Education.” He says that those decisions on bussing were local decisions. This brought us to the argument of state’s power versus federal power. After going on to defend his point he stops and says “My time is up… I'm sorry.” So what just happened? This was an odd moment. Now keep in mind there was a time limit that the moderators were keeping track of, but even with that, the candidates were always so eager to get their points across that they didn't care, it seemed like Biden wasn’t that eager to get his point across on that topic. Kamala kept pushing Biden on this topic of state’s rights when it comes to race and he cracked by saying “My time is up.”


These were my top 3 moments that affected minorities. However there were many more, including discussion on women’s reproductive health and a of mention reparations. Democrats, especially minorities should, take this opportunity to research candidates to figure out who they’d like to see represent the Democratic Party.