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Democrats Begin Accusing DNC of Racism for Tightening Debate Requirements

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A handful of Democrats believes that the Democratic National Committee’s decision to tighten debate requirements will create blowback for blacks and help the party’s “white male gatekeepers.”

“The DNC’s new rules, coming so early in the cycle, will amplify the harm done to diverse candidates by a political elite — from pollsters to talking heads — dominated by white male gatekeepers,” Sayu Bhojwani, founder of the nonpartisan political organization New American Leaders, said in a statement Thursday, according to Axios.

She was not alone in her assessment.

“It fatigues donors, has a disparate impact on candidates with diverse supporters, and rewards institutional advantages like email lists, staff and campaign accounts,” one Democratic operative told Axios.

The first round of debates is scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami and July 30-31 in Detroit, according to The Associated Press.

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The latest drama comes as the DNC announced Wednesday that it is doubling the requirements necessary to make the cut for the second round of debate in September.

According to the AP, the Sept. 12 debate will be hosted by ABC and Univision, though a location has not yet been announced. A second night will be added if necessary to accommodate the number of candidates who qualify, the AP reported.

There are roughly two-dozen Democrats running in 2020, raising concerns that such a high number could never be sustained throughout the debate process.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez is reportedly creating a lottery system to determine which Democratic candidates stand on stage during the party’s initial two-day debate.

Will the debate process winnow the Democratic field?

He told The Hill in a May 24 interview that the party has not determined the methodology of the random draw.

“We wanted to make sure we didn’t have our thumb on the scale,” said Perez, who previously served as an attorney inside the Obama administration.

The current math makes it easier for low-tier candidates to get a foothold in the process.

Qualified candidates must earn at least 1 percent of the vote in three national or designated early primary state polls to be offered a spot in the debates, or receive donations from 65,000 unique donors in 20 or more states.

Roughly 12 candidates have reached both benchmarks, media reports show.

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