White people were the subject of much criticism during the Democratic National Committee Chair Candidates Forum Monday in Washington, D.C., with one candidate saying that Democrats need to teach Americans “how to shut their mouths if they are white.”
The candidates were there to discuss what went wrong in 2016 and how they can fix it going forward.
Early on, many of the candidates targeted political consultancies owned by white people as one of the reasons for the Democratic Party’s poor showing in November.
“We have to stop, particularly with the consultants,” said Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. “You cannot come to the DNC and get a contract and the only minority face you have is the person answering the phone.”
Fox News analyst Jehmu Greene, also a candidate for the chairmanship, said “the DNC did a piss poor, pathetic job” attracting minorities, adding that minority consultants “need to get the same resources that the white consultants have gotten.”
And Sally Boynton Brown, the executive director of Idaho’s Democratic Party, said Democrats need to offer “training” that teaches Americans “how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”
When asked how the party should handle the Black Lives Matter movement, Brown said the activists must be embraced.
“It makes me sad that we’re even having that conversation and that tells me that white leaders in our party have failed,” she said. “I’m a white woman, I don’t get it. … My job is to listen and be a voice and shut other white people down when they want to interrupt.”
“This is life and death” she continued. “I am a human being trying to do good work and I can’t do it without y’all. So please, please, please, get ahold of me. Sally at we-the-dnc.org. I need schooling so I can go school the other white people.”
When the topic switched to life under a Trump presidency, Raymond Buckley, the chairman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said black Americans are living with “justified fear” of being killed.
Buckley said his black niece called him after Trump’s victory, fearing for her life.
“It’s not just certain parts of the country,” he said. “That fear is all across the country. It’s even in rural New Hampshire. So when people say black lives matter, you are damn right they matter.”
Finally, when host Joy-Ann Reid asked if the party should work with Trump, the resounding response was no, with Buckley even saying it was a “ridiculous question.”
You can watch the entire forum here.