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Reply #47: Here's the link and the quote. Enjoy! [View All]

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #35
47. Here's the link and the quote. Enjoy!
Edited on Mon Jan-26-04 01:45 PM by AP

"Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean brought his campaign to Howard University yesterday for a town hall-style meeting with students and faculty -- and a chance to prove that he can win over some of his party's most loyal constituents.

Dean comes from a state with a predominantly white population and has relied on the Internet -- which is used disproportionately by white and relatively well-off individuals -- to attract support, leading some of his rivals to question whether he can connect with minority voters. His speech came just hours after eight of his Democratic rivals penned a letter, criticizing Dean for supporting a plan to hold Michigan's presidential primary on-line. That, they said, would effectively disenfranchise many minorities there. The letter was signed by every candidate except retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark.

Dean told the crowd, as he has often said, that minorities do not need white politicians lecturing them on race -- and for much of his speech, he did not. ... Only near the end of his talk did Dean focus on minority issues. ... Later, after the applause had subsided, one student asked if Dean would be willing to choose a black running mate. The governor demurred, saying it is too early for him to name possible vice presidential candidates.

{He didn't demure when he was pretending that he asked Clark to be his VP}

Another student wondered what Dean might do to lessen the number of African Americans in prison. Dean warned that 'we can't get all weepy and liberal about this,' but promised to treat substance abuse as a medical issue, rather than a 'criminal problem,' and to fight racism in sentencing.

It's way more complicated than that, Howard. Lisa Duggan, in the Twilight of Equality, talks about how the debate around putting black men in prison is a fascinating lesson in how the right wing was able to stamp out what was, until the early 70s, was becoming an effective left movement for liberal redistribution of political, economic and cultural power that stood to benefit more than just black Americans, but the working class, women, and everyone. The government has been able to cast people fighting or responding to economic injustice as criminals. That's why members of the most economically oppressed demographic groups are in jail disproportionate to other demographic groups. Drug use is a symptom not a cause. Even sentencing rates are symptom not a cause.

Real Democrats look at this issue and see that it's one of spreading the benefits of society more broadly and giving people real economic opportunity. Republicans think of it as an intended circumstance that breaks up coalitions which might push for downward redistributions of power.

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