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GOP Candidates Give the Black Community a Cold Shoulder

Another day, another missed opportunity for the GOP to connect with black voters.

“Last night, the Republican candidates once again ignored the issues most important to the African-American community, just as they’ve done at almost every one of their debates and forums. During the CNN Town Hall, we heard Donald Trump whine that about the GOP establishment that paved the way for his candidacy, Ted Cruz advocate for surveillance of American Muslins, and John Kasich insist that he’ll be victorious despite his one-state win,” said Deshundra Jefferson, DNC spokesperson. “Yet they failed to advance any serious proposals to fix failing schools, address over-policing in our communities, or even acknowledge gun violence.”

“Republican Party isn’t serious about governing if they’ve essentially written off African Americans.”

Here’s a roundup of where the candidates stand on some issues that are most important to black voters:

Education

GOP Chairman Reince Priebus once called school choice a civil rights issue, saying that children of color are often trapped in underperforming schools. Meanwhile, the Republican candidates for president are running on policies that would be harmful to students in black communities. John Kasich cut $1.8 billion for public education in Ohio while funneling hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to charter schools in Ohio, while Donald Trump and Ted Cruz promise to do away with the Department of Education.

Health Care

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured Americans has fallen significantly. An estimated 20 million Americans now have health insurance, and the uninsured rate among blacks has dropped from 22.4 percent to 10 percent since 2013.

Despite the impressive gains we have seen, the GOP is standing by their pledge to repeal, repeal, repeal.  Cruz’s overzealous vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act led to a 16-day government shutdown in 2013 that cost our economy $24 billion. Both Kasich and Trump have also pledged to repeal President Obama’s signature law.

Curbing Gun Violence and Criminal Justice Reform

Trump insists that the problem exists because “drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street.” His claim is at odds with the reality that blacks are locked up nearly six times the rate of whites, and that even though drug use among whites is five times higher than among blacks, we’re ten times as likely to be sent to prison for the same offense.

Over-policing in African-American communities has been a longstanding issue, and the GOP has barely touched on this issue during their debates and town halls. We have seen the Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, be antagonistic towards protesters and the Black Lives Matter Movement, and has offered to pay legal expenses for supporters who attack protesters.

Voting Rights

Kasich signed a controversial bill into law that ended Ohio’s “Golden Week,” a six-day period when voters could register and vote on the same day. Golden Week was particularly popular among voters of color, and voting rights groups sued to overturn the law.

Cruz championed discriminatory Photo ID laws as Solicitor General in Texas, and as for Trump we shouldn’t let him have the opportunity to mess with our voting rights.

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