Kennedy, Jackson Bridging the Racial Divide

This past week I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about the Democrats who are jumping in the ring for the 2020 Presidential primaries. I’m glad that a lot of the candidates are younger than 70. I have one thing that I hope for in a Democratic candidate: can that person bridge the divide between the working class whites who support Trump and the minority communities that feel threatened by Trump? I deeply worry about the racial divisions in this country that threaten America’s social fabric.

I have two models from history that I look to: Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 run and Jesse Jackson’s 1988 run. Both Kennedy and Jackson reached out to both working class whites and minority communities to try to heal some of the divisions in this country.

In 1968, Kennedy went to the Appalachians to reach out to struggling white communities who were seeing their mining jobs slowly disappear. RFK went to inner city ghettos to reach out to poor black communities. He went to Native American reservations to witness the poverty in Native American communities. Kennedy appeared with striking Mexican American and Filipino American farmworkers to show his support to their cause.

In 1988 Jesse Jackson held picket signs to show his support of striking blue collar workers. Jackson went to poor white farming communities to show his support of struggling farmers who were facing farm foreclosures. He went to inner city minority communities to help black and hispanic communities struggling with drugs and poverty. Jackson went to AIDS clinics to show his support of AIDS patients at a time of rampant homophobia and when they were being shunned.

One of the important functions of liberals in history (from Eleanor Roosevelt to the Kennedys to Jesse Jackson to Paul Wellstone) has been to bridge the divides between working class white and minority communities. That is one of the reasons I am a liberal Democrat.

Here is a video of Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 campaign

Here is a video of Jesse Jackson’s 1988 campaign

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About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He does a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippines Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since March 2013, he has also contributed cartoons to the Manila Mail, a Filipino American newspaper based in Washington D.C. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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