Black voters are waking up to the sobering fact that the Democratic Party may not have their best interests at heart.
Presidential hopefuls traveled to Atlanta to take part in the Democratic debate on Wednesday, Nov. 20.
Cory Booker, left, and Kamala Harris, right, are mixed race candidates who claim to represent Black Americans. But Black voters say the candidates didn’t touch on the issues that concern Black voters.
“I was disappointed at the fact that two of the most controversial issues concerning Georgia – reproductive rights and election integrity – were only discussed in the last 11 minutes of the debate, said Howard student and Atlanta native Keri Felton.
Council member Khalid Kamau was also disappointed in the candidates.
“These candidates and the media came to Atlanta, to the Atlanta University Center, Paschal’s restaurant, and told us how important we are. Then they get on TV and barely mention us. It’s like dating a f-ckboy,” Kamau said.
Activists also point to the rapid gentrification of Atlanta, a formerly majority Black city.
“For working-class ATLiens, it’s not working out for us,” said Sankara Lumumba. “We’ve gotten rid of public housing, the city is becoming less Black, the administration of this city doesn’t match up to what is being publicly put out there.”
Lumumba volunteers with the Community Movement Builders who fight gentrification in Atlanta. Gentrification is a term that describes the takeover of Black and urban neighborhoods by developers and wealthy investors who raise property taxes to force Black homeowners out of their neighborhoods.
Activists blame Black politicians for permitting gentrification in Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace.
“There’s a black political elite that’s teamed up with the economic elite and they run the city,” said Kamau Franklin, the organization’s founder. “They don’t run it for working-class or poor black folks. They run it to further capitalist development. It’s a whitewash of what the Black Mecca is supposed to be.”