Tim Kaine: “It’s a civil rights election”


Hilary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, has written about the importance of civil rights in America’s presidential election.

In an essay for Black Entertainment Television he writes:

I’ve learned how being white… means you can go your entire life without ever understanding the challenges African-Americans face every day. It’s on all of us to come to grips with these issues.

In many ways, that’s the deeper question we’re facing in this election: who we are, how we treat each other and what kind of nation we want to leave our children.

It’s a civil rights election.

He emphasises the economic nature of segregation in 2016 and the sharply different ways law enforcement treats people depending on their colour:

Today, African-American families only have eight cents of wealth for every dollar a white family has.  African-Americans are more likely to be convicted and sentenced to longer prison sentences than white Americans for the same crimes. Far too many Black families are losing loved ones to gun violence and through deadly encounters with the police at an alarming rate.

He has this to say about Trump:

This is a man who simply doesn’t see the heroes and heroines of a vibrant civil rights movement, the success of Black leaders in every field, the strength of the Black church or the pride that so many Black parents feel watching their children thrive. He even perpetrated the painful and bigoted lie that President Obama is not an American citizen.

So it’s pretty rich for Trump to ask people he has disregarded for decades, “What do you have to lose?”

I’d say quite a bit.

Most importantly he sets out a very solid plan of action for the Clinton administration:

We’ll target resources where they’re needed most by investing in jobs and infrastructure in communities that have been left out and left behind.

We’ll make sure that environmental injustices like what occurred in Flint, Michigan, never happen again by eliminating lead and investing in water infrastructure, especially in areas where decades of neglect have created dangerous living conditions.

We’ll put forward national use-of-force guidelines for the nation’s police forces and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. We’ll end the era of mass incarceration and replace the school-to-prison pipeline with a cradle-to-college pipeline. And while we’re making college debt-free for everyone, we’ll invest $25 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities to make sure they’ll keep producing some of our countries greatest leaders for generations to come.

And finally, we’ll reinstate the Voting Rights Act. Don’t let anyone tell you your vote isn’t important. If it wasn’t, the other side wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop you.

There are plenty of equivalent steps in the UK that Liberal Democrats have and are calling for, not least to “target resources where they’re needed most by investing in jobs and infrastructure in communities that have been left out and left behind”.  And that applies to communities of all colours.

Tim Kaine has previously described himself as “the most boring man in politics” but if this essay is anything to go by he is a good choice for Vice-President of the USA.

* Antony Hook was #2 on the South East European list in 2014, is the English Party's representative on the Federal Executive and produces this sites EU Referendum Roundup.

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  • Richard Underhill 30th Sep '16 - 7:18pm
  • Lorenzo Cherin 1st Oct '16 - 12:54am

    Kaine is a good man with a solid reputation of humanitarian effort going back to his youth as a volunteer in Honduras, this piece shows how essential it is to get the voting public to realise Clinton is no villain , they need only look at the alternative for what that word could look like ! They can win , and for a better society, they should .

    I think it is a good ticket , worth supporting!

  • Stevan Rose 1st Oct '16 - 8:46am

    Kaine is addressing issues that are extreme and cannot legitimately be compared to the UK. We have nothing to compare to the collapse of Detroit, we don’t let cities go bankrupt. We don’t have the large scale environmental scandals, our policing doesn’t result in hundreds of deaths http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/, we don’t have black colleges, and we don’t have deliberate vote rigging based on race. Targeting resources is the common ground but scale is on a completely different level.

    Why is this necessary after 8 years of an African American Democrat Presidency? If Obama has been unable to make headway on these issues after 8 years, indeed the situation is getting worse, why would Clinton-Kaine do better? They are both Establishment politicians who talk a lot of words the liberal elites want to hear. They’re not passionate or inspiring though.

  • Richard Underhill 1st Oct '16 - 7:28pm

    Stevan Rose: Continuous pressure is needed. There are severe flaws in US democracy. What they do affects us all, for instance George W Bush invaded Iraq.

  • Stevan Rose 2nd Oct '16 - 9:56am

    “What they do affects us all,”

    In foreign policy maybe. Policing, education, electoral boundaries, and dealing with poverty has no effect on us at all. We can teach them a lot however.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Oct '16 - 8:37am

    Vice-Presidents do matter. “Suppose you like Dwight D Eisenhower but you do not like Richard Nixon?”
    Senator John F Kennedy said, on camera, that he “fully supported Lyndon Baines Johnson as Senate majority leader.”
    Vice-President Al Gore got more votes for President than George W Bush, who won.
    The next TV debate between Donald John Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton is on Channel 4 at 01.35 – 03.45 on 10/10/2016.

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