Podcast Hosts Discuss Voter Suppression ‘In the Thick’, the Role of Media at Harvard IOP
The meeting, entitled “2020 Election and Engaging Color Groups,” doubled as an episode of “In the Thick.” Hinojosa and Varela moderated the discussion, which discussed a wide range of topics, including the Democratic presidential primary next year and the portrayal of presidential campaigns by the mainstream media.
Brown, who is also the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, was the first panelist to discuss the intimidation of voters, which she described as “the black-brown elephant in the room.”
“Wherever brown and black people are there, I can guarantee the denial of voting,” Brown said. “We see the repression of voting as the suppression of voting that takes place on election day. There is a spectrum of suppression of voting.
Anything that prevents people from having free and fair access— open access to the ballot— is voting suppression. “The rest of the panelists agreed that voting suppression is a relevant issue for colored people. Graham said the lack of media coverage earned by the mainstream press from the intimidation of voters and gerrymandering was troublesome.
“You can write about what happened in 2018 in Georgia, where all these polling sites were closed. The story you should publish, “Graham said. “The challenge is that story isn’t sexy.”
The panelists also said former Vice President Joe Biden is far from being a shoe-in for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite an early polling lead.
“I think Biden would win if you were to take the vote right now,” Brown said. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean the person who’s with Biden now can’t be persuaded not to be with him a month later.”
Graham noted that “the polls mean little right now.”
“We are not yet close to the elections,” she said. “There’s so much that can still happen.”
Several Tuesday event attendees raised their hands when asked if they were listening to “In the Thick,” described as a podcast on their website “where color journalists tell you what you’re missing from mainstream news.”
“It’s nice to have an event that addresses the role that colored people will play in this election— to have colored people actually share their viewpoint,” said Chidinma A. Agu, student at Harvard Kennedy School and event attendant. “There have been many great points, particularly the point about the manipulation of the vote being much more than just what happens on election day.”