Three Democratic candidates running for House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)’s now-open 39th district seat agreed unanimously Tuesday that America’s criminal justice system — including police officers — are racist.
They made their remarks at a candidate event sponsored by billionaire left-wing activist Tom Steyer.
Royce announced in January that he is retiring from Congress.
“The 39th district is one of the most racially diverse congressional districts — definitely here in California as well,” the moderator of the panel said.
“And we know that there’s a ton of racism in our communities,” he went on to say. “In particular, we know a lot of our young people here in the 39th are aware of how broken our criminal justice system is, and I would say even racist.”
Asked what he would do to reform America’s “racist” criminal justice system, Democratic candidate Gil Cisneros said America needs to “reinstate the Voter Rights Act, that’s prohibiting people of color from voting all around the country.”
He added that “we need leaders in Congress that are going to go and step up to defend people of color; to defend those the oppressed people, not matter where they might be or where they might come from.” He said he would use his “bully pulpit to go out there and defend people because I’ve been a victim of racism.”
Sam Jammal, a fellow Democrat, said, “I’m half Latino and half Arab-American, so depending on the day of the week Donald Trump is tweeting something unfortunate about my background in one way or another.” He then said it all comes down to “diversity and having voices of inclusion.”
“I think of discrimination, and all other forms of racism as a virus,” liberal activist Andy Thorburn said. “And how do you eliminate a virus from society? You inoculate each generation. And as you inoculate generation after generation the virus disappears. And we’ve done that with small pox. And we were doing it with racism.
“But Trump has brought it back,” he added.
Later, during a “rapid fire round,” the three candidates were asked to raise their hands for “yes” and keep their hands down for “no.”
All the candidates raised their hands for the following questions, which included, “Do you like ice cream?”, “Do you support a national paid leave family leave policy?”, “Did you support the legalization of marijuana?”, “Do you support allowing transgender soldiers to serve in the military?”, “Do you support raising the minimum wage?”, “Do you support California’s decision to become a sanctuary state?”, “Do you think that local cops should coordinate with ICE?”, and “Do you support Black Lives Matter?”
The only question they did not raise their hands for was, “Do you think Donald Trump is fit for office?”
That question was followed up with, “Do you think Donald Trump is a racist?” All three candidates, including the moderator, raised their hands for “Yes.”