WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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Bonds, Perry Say Race Matters In D.C. Election

Race should be a factor when electing members to the D.C. Council, according to two African-American candidates for an at-large seat on the council.

In a debate about ethics and gentrification Monday on The Kojo Nnamdi Show, Nnamdi asked Democratic candidate Anita Bonds whether it makes a difference if the D.C. Council's membership is majority black or white. Seven members of the 13-member council are white.

"People want to have their leadership reflect who they are," said Bonds, an interim D.C. Council member. "And the majority of the District of Columbia is still African-American. Fifty percent is African-American, so there's a natural tendency to want your own."

Statehood Green candidate Perry Redd agreed.

"The fact of the matter is that what we've learned from history -- and not just Washington's history but America's history, that whites -- when Europeans are in control of any elected body, they do not care for the most vulnerable who happen to be people of color," Redd said.

D.C. voters will choose an at-large council member in a special election on April 23.

Watch the full remarks below.

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