After both Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, the mainstream media bemoaned the “whiteness” of the remaining candidates, ignoring Andrew Yang, an Asian American contender.
Once Harris exited the race in December, the New York Times’ podcast hosted David Leonhardt, who said the order of primaries and caucuses privileges demographically white states and, thus, white candidates.
Politico also questioned the Democratic field’s perceived lack of racial diversity. “Harris’ downfall, Booker’s struggles and Julián Castro’s single-digit polling have caused Democrats across the party, and especially people of color, to ask what’s led the party to this juncture, where all the frontrunners are white, and most of them are male and in their 70s,” Politico wrote.
In the lead-up to the sixth round of Democratic debates, #DebatesSoWhite was trending on social media platforms as well, but the field was still diverse.
After Yang, a tech entrepreneur, announced he was suspending his presidential campaign Tuesday, the mainstream media was forced to admit Yang, the son of Tiawanese immigrants, was a diverse candidate.
“Now we’ve got Andrew Yang dropping out, basically at the bell on the right of New Hampshire. That’s consequential in terms of the overall field, right? I mean, he’s the nonwhite candidate in the field, and he’s now out. So, in terms of the Democrats contending with diversity issues, this is a real thing,” said MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.
Yang suspended his campaign shortly after polls closed in the New Hampshire primary.
“I am a numbers guy. In most of these states, I’m not going to be at a threshold where I get delegates, which makes sticking around not necessarily helpful or productive in terms of furthering the goals of this campaign,” Yang said.