POLITICAL WRAP: Presidential Candidates Attend “King Day at the Dome” in SC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – On Monday, hundreds are expected to gather on the South Carolina State House steps for the annual “King Day at the Dome.”

Six of the remaining 12 democratic presidential candidates are expected to attend the event.

That includes Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who re-arranged his schedule to attend, after facing criticism for initially saying he would attend an MLK event in South BendIndiana instead.

The South Carolina event is seen as a “must-stop” for democratic presidential candidates, hoping to compete in the Palmetto State.

Takeaways from the Democratic Debate

CHARLOTTE, NC —  With the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away, six of the democratic candidates battled it out on a debate stage Tuesday night. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the biggest takeaways.

Double standards for 2020 Democratic hopefuls? You don’t say

OPINION — There is a particular line that stuck with me in the just-opened film “Queen & Slim,” about a black couple on the run after an altercation with a white police officer goes awry in the depressing and terrible way you might imagine. During their perilous road trip, in a quieter moment, he (a retail worker) asks her (an attorney) if she is good at her job. “I’m an excellent lawyer,” she replies, to which he answers with a question that’s really a statement: “Why do black people always got to be excellent? Why can’t we just be ourselves?”

Since the pre-mortems were written a bit ago, it’s time for a post-mortem on the presidential campaign of California Sen. Kamala Harris, who never seemed to quite discover who she was or at least convey authenticity and excellence to enough voters or donors to make a difference.

Buttigieg Seeks Black Voter Support as Presidential Race Shifts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Though his support has surged in early caucus and primary states Iowa and New Hampshire, 2020 Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg has low polling numbers in states with a more diverse voting base. In South Carolina, he is polling in the very low single digits, which is a step up from his former number of 0%. Though he has funds and momentum, the South Bend, Indiana, mayor might hit a wall in a party that depends on a strong African-American and Hispanic voting base.

Minority voters — African-American women in particular — were key in recent elections that turned Virginia state government blue and re-elected a Democratic governor in Louisiana after President Trump campaigned for his opponent. Can Buttigieg solve this problem and save his chances to be the nominee?

And what does it say about the 2020 race on the Democratic side, which started out with such a diverse group, now that California Sen. Kamala Harris has dropped out and the slate for the December debate has narrowed to top candidates who do not reflect that party’s racial diversity. (Mary C. Curtis)

Bloomberg, Biden, Buttigieg and the bunch apologize. Should black voters listen, forgive and vote?

OPINION — Of course, Michael Bloomberg went there — there being a black church to ask for forgiveness. As he tentatively dips his toe and his billions into the Democratic presidential race, joining a scrum that expands even as it shrinks, Bloomberg, perhaps realizing that the path to the presidency must include the enthusiastic support of black and brown voters, has rethought his enthusiastic support of “stop and frisk.”

“I got something important really wrong,” he told the congregation at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn on Sunday. “I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities.”

As New York City mayor, Bloomberg insisted that in order to fight crime, police must have the power to stop anyone judged a potential lawbreaker, which translated to ritualizing a practice that humiliated hundreds of thousands of black and brown New Yorkers who were detained, questioned and patted down because of “furtive movements” or some other vague justification. The number of stops rose to more than 685,000 in 2011, with no citations made or charges brought nearly 90 percent of the time.

Pete Buttigieg tries to solve his South Carolina puzzle

[OPINION] ROCK HILL, S.C. — Why was South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg in South Carolina over the weekend, with a busy schedule that included tailgating at a historically black college homecoming and delivering remarks at an AME Zion worship service?

“To say that I want to be the president who can pick up the pieces, that we’ve got to be ready not just to defeat this president but to guide the country forward,” he confidently told me. “I have my eyes on that moment and what America’s going to need.”

It’s quite a tall order for a candidate polls show in single digits in the first-in-the-South primary, where he is still largely unknown to the African Americans who make up the majority of the state’s Democratic voters, even as his campaign coffers and Iowa poll numbers rise. In a weekend packed with public appearances, he and a diverse group of campaign workers and surrogates, including some from South Bend, were trying to catch up — and distribute those “African Americans for Pete” buttons.

POLITICAL WRAP: al-Baghdadi Military Operation; Mayor Pete Campaigns in Rock Hill

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – President Donald Trump is declaring that the leader of Islamic terrorist group ISIS is dead.

And Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg spent the weekend campaigning in South Carolina.

Click above for more in this week’s political wrap with WCCB Charlotte political contributor Mary C. Curtis.

Democratic Debate Wrap: Any Game Changers?

CHARLOTTENC — A dozen democratic presidential candidates taking the stage in Ohio Tuesday night — in a critical debate that could reshape the race for the nomination.

Health care once again a major topic as well as the impeachment inquiry and President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in on the debate and what it means for the race.

Are we in this American experiment together? A July Fourth question to contemplate

OPINION — Who doesn’t love Cary Grant, the debonair British-born, American acting legend, who wooed leading ladies, including the Hepburns, Katharine and Audrey, as well as generations of moviegoers?

But he was not so charming when his submarine commander character in 1943’s “Destination Tokyo” said: “The Japs don’t understand the love we have for our women. They don’t even have a word for it in their language.”

Demonizing “the enemy” in wartime as “the other,” incapable of emotion and not quite human is not unusual. But someone always pay a hefty price. Loyal Japanese American families, rounded up and shipped to internment camps, waited until 1988 for President Ronald Reagan to issue an apology; survivors received meager compensation. Though that was expected to be that, the trauma to those Americans and the nation lingered.

And despite that World War II-era lesson, and ones before and after, America continues to make the same mistake, a notion important to contemplate during the Fourth of July festivities, when we celebrate the ideal.

This year, a Washington, D.C., military parade and fireworks display with a speech by Donald Trump that places a national holiday squarely in partisan territory will be both a distraction from and a reminder of our current plight.

Are Young Voters the Key to the White House in 2020?

CHARLOTTE, NC — For Democrats, will it be the past vs. the future? The old guard or fresh faces? The two older gentlemen at the top of every poll judging 2020 Democratic presidential maybes or not? And does any candidate possess the “it” factor that can beat President Trump.

Pew research center report shows millennials will make up roughly a quarter of eligible voters in 2020. Generation Z, those born after 1996, will make up another 10%.

WCCB political contributor Mary C. Curtis takes a look at how Democrats are hoping to get the youth vote for the 2020 presidential election.