'Work like your life depends on it,' Democrat says

Oct 05, 2020

Rep. Gilda-Cobb Hunter discusses election 2020 during a Zoom press conference with The Panther.


The need for social, economic and environmental justice has brought intensity to the 2020 election unlike ever before, a top Democratic official said.

On Sept. 12, Orangeburg state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and longtime member of the Democratic National Committee, spoke with reporting students from Claflin University to address the atmosphere and key issues surrounding the upcoming election. The news conference was held via Zoom.

The political landscape is “one like we’ve never seen before,” Cobb-Hunter said. Unrest in leadership is seen at every level, causing a new intensity.

With more uncertainty among people about their choices, she believes there is a chance to turn “crisis into opportunity.”

Economic and social justice are pressing matters more than ever, Cobb-Hunter said.

“Enough is enough,” Cobb-Hunter said of injustices. She hopes the intensity will manifest on Election Day, Nov. 3.

She gave an example of a case where police non-violently removed a maskless protester and the non-violent arrest of Dylan Roof, the Emanuel 9 killer, in contrast to what happened to Black people such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

"The disparity in how she (Breonna Taylor) and George Floyd were treated is remarkable,” she said.

As the president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, she wants to channel frustration into policy.

"At the end of the day, politicians need policy,” Cobb-Hunter said.

The organization is building a proposed framework for ethical policing. “There is no clear expectation on how police should be,” she said.

She hopes to have the framework produces transparency and accountability if expectations are not met.

Another concern for Democrats is environmental justice, Cobb-Hunter said, alluding to climate change. “We have not done what we should have done."

“Pointing fingers is a waste of time,” she said.

Cobb-Hunter believes many refuse to address the elephant in the room: “Systemic racism is the root of most issues."

Until the fundamental issues of racism are dealt with, the nation will not progress, she said.

In discussing the outcome of the election, Cobb-Hunter said Democrat Joe Biden will win but “it will require focus.”

“The majority of people in the country are ready for change,” Cobb-Hunter said.

Calling Trump the “liar in chief,” Cobb-Hunter said, “It’s hard for truth speakers to listen to an administration (that has) no regard for the Constitution and flat out lies.”

Trump, however, is not lacking in supporters.

She cited two reasons many support Trump:

--The judiciary and appointments of “young, unqualified judges” to the bench.

--Rolling back regulations that were put in place to fight climate change.

There are a lot of quiet supporters of Trump, therefore “Democrats ought not get caught up in counting their chickens before they hatch," she said.

Voter suppression, the deliberate dismantling of the post office and the refusal to use drop boxes for voting are other risks to Democrats, she said.

Cobb-Hunter said Biden will be different because there would be a person in charge who understands the roll “clear, consistent and direct.”

“The Biden administration wouldn’t lie about the seriousness of the virus," she said.

“There would be a plan” to fight the coronavirus pandemic, she said. “This administration has no plan.”

“Is it OK that the ‘best country in the world’ lost 200,000 people?” No, she said. “You ought not have to choose between voting and living.”

“My message to Democrats is work like your life depends on it because it does,” Cobb-Hunter said.

Section Navigation
Support the next generation of Claflin Leaders
Your support provides educational enrichment through student scholarships, loan funds, instructional classroom equipment, preparing Claflin's students to be leaders of the future.