Jamaal Bowman Schools GOP Lawmaker On Structural Racism In CNN Debate

The New York progressive went head to head with Republican darling Byron Donalds and dropped a lesson on inequality in the process.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) dropped an explainer on structural racism during a CNN debate with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) on Wednesday. (Watch the clip below.)

The prime-time debate on gun violence followed Bowman’s impromptu debate with Donalds on the Capitol steps early last month, where the two touched on the 2024 presidential election and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Bowman began his remarks Wednesday by schooling Donalds on economic inequality.

“We have levels of economic inequality that are worse than the Gilded Age,” Bowman said. “To truly invest in poverty, you have to reverse the impact of the disproportionate distribution of wealth that happened post-slavery.”

Bowman added that the Homestead Act of 1862 “gave the entire West” to white people whereas Black people didn’t see similar gains, before addressing a lack of investment in Black-owned banks and the effects of globalization.

“[It’s] the race to the bottom chasing low cost labor all over the world, taking industrial jobs out of the Black communities. You know what they brought back in? Cops and drugs and the numbers game,” he continued.

“You gave us an illegal economy and cops but never repaired the harm that you have caused, which is why mostly gun trafficking, trafficking in the Black and brown communities, and Black and brown people are killing each other with it. So when I talk about dealing with the issue of poverty, I’m talking about reparations.”

He closed his remarks by calling for equitable investment in schools.

“Right now, if you live in a wealthy community, you get more money for your school than if you live in a poor community, and the poor community’s only poor because they were redlined by the U.S. government via the G.I. bill. Come on, now,” he closed.

Donalds then chimed in on Bowman’s argument about economic inequality.

“Of course, incomes are not equal because everybody has different levels of talent, ability. People have started in different parts in life, we both acknowledge that. I will never sit here and say—” Donalds said before Bowman interrupted.

“Some were slave masters, some were slaves,” Bowman said.

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