Reaction to the Vice-Presidential debate

The Politics of Color asked scholars to comment on the 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate. POC is the official blog for the flagship journal of the REP Section of APSA – Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Moving forward, we invite scholars, graduate students, and practitioners from all disciplines to contact the blog’s editorial team to contribute to future posts.


the Editorial Team

The reluctance to discuss race


It continues to bother (although not surprise) me that Republican candidates continue to avoid discussing the role of race within law enforcement practices and strategies. During the debate, Governor Pence was asked to comment on Senator Tim Scott’s (R-SC) emotional message about his own experiences with racial discrimination by law enforcement. Although Governor Pence acknowledged that he and Senator Scott were “good friends,” he chose to focus on the importance of respecting law enforcement officers. Despite Senator Kaine’s and the moderator’s efforts to redirect Governor Pence’s focus back onto the question, his refusal to comment was clearly evident. Yes, it is important for the public to respect law enforcement, BUT law enforcement officers need to respect the public (especially people of color) as well. As this and other issues related to race continue to divide the nation, Republicans’ refusal to address these issues only add to the division. Refusing to address the problem does not solve it. Silence only makes it worse. 


Those interested in contributing should send an email to the Politics of Color editor, Chris Haynes at the University of New Haven (email: or associate editors, Allan Colbern and Stacy Greene at the University of California, Riverside and University of California, Los Angeles (emails: and