FOX 4 News - Dallas-Fort Worth / YouTube New details on Beto O ...
FOX 4 News - Dallas-Fort Worth / YouTube

Do not ask Beto O’Rourke a question unless you have the time to listen to a serious, well-thought-out response. This guy doesn’t deal in soundbites. In that, he reminds me of another skinny guy with a surname beginning with “O.” What’s his name again?

O’Rourke was asked: “What can you do for Black women in Texas?” Please see his incredible answer in the video below.

Transcript (done by yours truly)

Question: What can you do for Black women in Texas?

O’Rourke: The maternal mortality crisis is three times as deadly for African American women. As we have closed down family-planning clinics, made it that much harder to get a cervical cancer screening, see a family planning provider, see a doctor of any kind, we are losing women and specifically African American women faster here than almost any other developed country on the face of the planet. That’s unconscionable, it’s immoral, it’s wrong and it can be fixed if we have the right leadership standing up for every woman to make her own decision about her own body.

In this state and in this country we have a school to prison pipeline that begins not in high school but in kindergarten, where African American children face four to five times the likelihood of being disciplined, suspended or expelled as white children in those same classrooms. That is also unjust, immoral, and unconscionable and it’s not good for everyone being able to live up to their full potential. So, we correct that by fixing a criminal justice system that does not serve everyone equally in this country. We fix that by ensuring there’s true equity in education. And it doesn’t just mean resources in a classroom, it means teachers who understand their students and where we can, teachers who look like their students. And a public education system that begins not in kindergarten where some children are already 10 months back in math, 12 months back in reading, but begins universally for every child regardless of race or ethnicity in pre-kindergarten where we give the same starting line to every child. I’m confident that with that, every single one of us is gonna be able to live up to our full potential and contribute to our full capacity.


He gave that expansive answer without notes! He quoted statistics as he spoke about black maternal mortality rates, preventative health care, early childhood education, and the school-to-prison pipeline. He not only knew the issues, he also gave global and commonsense solutions to the problems. Usually, when politicians are asked questions having to do with the black community, their go-to answers center around crime, drugs, and teenage pregnancy. Their responses are usually dripping with condescension and paternalism, and depending on the political persuasion, also colored with barely-concealed racism. Think of the Occupant speaking to his collection of teabaggers about black folks and his, “What the hell do they have to lose?”  Beto O’Rourke is at the opposite end of the spectrum in every way.

Color me impressed beyond words.


For those of us who missed the debate last night:



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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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