I’ve spent the last few hours trying to figure out “just the right words.” Our country is grieving. As a minority running for office, I’m supposed to have the right words and type something “shareable” or profound.
Campaigns and pundits all across the country are stuttering, trying to find words to fix what ails us. But there is nothing that can be said or done in a Tweet or interview that makes Donald Trump’s white supremacist views bearable.
Because of my heritage, I am careful when speaking about race and class. I do not want to alienate others (especially our white allies) nor do I want to be accused of pulling a “race” card. I fear our politics is becoming more divisive as the gap between the rich and poor gets wider, and I don’t want to make it worse.
It’s fine line we have to walk. We’re under enormous pressure.
It is incumbent on us as a Party to come together and push forth a bold agenda that gives Americans from all walks of life a seat at the table. But in order to be successful at this, we must have conversations about race and class. We must talk about income inequality. We must talk about sexism, racism, and homophobia. We must confront our past and we must deal with our present. Even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s awkward.
I’m running for office because I work in the criminal justice system. I have seen firsthand what institutionalized racism does to communities of color. I know what happens when poor kids, regardless of race, enter into an adult world with an economy that wasn’t designed for them.
As we move forward in this national conversation about Donald Trump and race in America, I’m not sure if I’ll ever become the media-savvy “quotable” guy that can talk in 140 characters or less, but one thing I can assure you is that my founding principle for running has not and will not ever change:
The American Dream belongs to all of us. We are all entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Me. You. Us. Them. No exceptions.
I want to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line at Robert@RobertForColorado.com and let me know how you’re feeling. I’m listening.