Holding Candidates Accountable to What They Say About Racial Justice

Holding Candidates Accountable to What They Say About Racial Justice

Advancement Project Launches #DidYouHear Bingo for Third Presidential Primary Debate

By Daniel Marks, Communications Intern

Tonight CNN will host the third presidential candidates’ debate of 2015, this time in Las Vegas, Nev. This marks the first opportunity for the Democratic primary candidates to share their racial justice policy platforms in a debate setting. All eyes will be on these candidates, and for good reason. Candidates across all political parties should be held accountable to what they say – or neglect to say – about today’s most pressing racial justice issues.

To keep track of what candidates say during the debate, Advancement Project created the #DidYouHear bingo game. Now, you and your friends can document how frequently candidates address key issues affecting people of color, including the school-to-prison pipeline, restrictive voter ID laws and comprehensive immigration reform.

During the debate, you’ll hear candidates speak about a variety of issues – ranging from minimum wage to healthcare reform. But will these candidates use an social justice lens to unpack how issues like police brutality affect people of color explicitly? Too often, candidates use neutral language to unify constituents. For example, multiple candidates used “all lives matter” rhetoric in the past – neglecting the unique experiences of Black and Brown communities across the country. When addressing issues like police brutality, we need candidates to speak directly to people of color because they experience these injustices the most. The #DidYouHear bingo game gives you an opportunity to hold candidates accountable for upholding racial justice.

You might have played the #YouMightHear bingo game we created for the last presidential candidates’ debate on September 16. The general concept of this bingo game is the same. Here’s how it works. First, print out the #DidYouHear debate bingo sheet and get chips, pennies, markers, or whatever works best to mark down the phrases candidates’ might say during the debate. Next, let the games begin. Here’s where the #DidYouHear and #YouMightHear bingo games differ. With this bingo game, we want you to mark down any time a candidate mentions key racial justice phrases like “school-to-prison pipeline” or “path to citizenship.” If you mark five of these phrases in a row, you win!

Racial justice is an integral component to a just democracy. The #DidYouHear bingo game shares insight on what the presidential candidates value most in the upcoming election. Issues affecting people of color need to be addressed with urgency. Since Advancement Project is non-partisan, we do not explicitly or implicitly support any candidates. Rather, we hope the #DidYouHear bingo game promotes active engagement throughout all of the 2016 presidential debates.