Andrew Yang 'honoured and disappointed’ to be only person of colour in Democratic debate

Entrepreneur says he thinks Cory Booker ‘will be back’

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Thursday 19 December 2019 21:56
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US Democratic debate: Andrew Yang on being the only candidate of colour in the democratic primary election race

Andrew Yang has said he was both “honoured and disappointed” to be the only person of colour taking part in the Democratic Party’s latest debate.

Asked how he felt about there being so little diversity among the Democratic candidates – there was actually more diversity among the four journalists quizzing the hopefuls – he said: “It’s both an honour and disappointment to be the lone candidate of colour on the stage tonight.”

In a reference to senators Kamala Harris, who earlier this month announced she was dropped out of the race, and Corey Booker, who is still challenging but did not qualify for this debate, he added to applause: “I miss Kamala, I miss Cory – although I think Cory will be back.”

CNN said Mr Yang’s comments highlighted his long-standing friendship with Mr Booker. Mr Yang went on to detail how he had racial epithets used against him as a child, but added: “Black and Latinos have something much more powerful working against them than words.”

Mr Yang, who is Asian-American, then used the answer to pivot to his so-called freedom dividend, the universal basic income proposal that is central to his campaign.

“The question is why am I the lone candidate of colour on this stage? Fewer than 5 per cent of Americans donate to political campaigns. You know what you need to donate to political campaigns? Disposable income,” he said.

Andrew Yang's latest campaign featuring his special needs child

“I guarantee if we had a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month, I would not be the only candidate of colour on this stage tonight.”

The Democrats, who started the 2020 primary cycle with the most diverse field in its history, are now facing criticism that all of its leading candidates are white.​

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