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- Democratic presidential challenger Andrew Yang expressed “disappointment” in being the sole person of color on stage during the Democratic presidential candidates debate Thursday night.
- “It’s both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on this stage tonight. I miss Kamala [Harris], I miss Cory [Booker] -though I think Cory will be back,” Yang said, prompting applause.
- Yang said that his signature “basic income” policy – under which each American would be given $1,000 monthly – would help ensure the presence of more persons of color in the US presidential race.
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Democratic presidential challenger Andrew Yang said it was an “honor and a disappointment” to be the only non-white candidate on the debate stage on Thursday night.
“It’s both an honor and disappointment to be the lone candidate of color on this stage tonight. I miss Kamala [Harris], I miss Cory [Booker] – though I think Cory will be back,” Yang said, prompting applause from the audience.
Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race in early December, while Booker did not attain the necessary level of support in the polls to qualify for the debate last night. Both are African-American.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 20, 2019
Alongside Yang, the other six candidates were former Vice-President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Yang is the child of immigrants from Taiwan, and recalled being racially abused when growing up. However, he said that was still relative privilege compared to other groups.
“Black(s) and Latinos have something much more powerful working against them than words – they have numbers,” he continued, pointing to the disparity in income between black and Latino households and white households.
Yang went on to say that his signature “basic income” policy – under which every adult would be given a monthly sum of $1,000 – would help to propel more candidates of color into the presidential race.
Yang claims that the policy would reduce inequality and leave people free to decide how to spend the money, rather than the government.
“I guarantee if we had a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month, I would not be the only candidate of color on this stage tonight,” Yang said.
Yang was considered an outsider at the beginning of the campaign, but has attracted a loyal base of supporters with his innovative approach to policy and strong social media presence.
Though the Democratic field of candidates for the presidency in 2020 was the most diverse ever, white candidates have proved to be the frontrunners.