Bill de Blasio Talks ICE, Sex Work Decriminalization and Why Black People Should Support His Campaign

Eyes on 2020An in-depth look at the candidates vying for the highest office in the land in 2020.

New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio said Donald Trump won the 2016 Election because people stayed home instead of hitting the polls, not because the majority of the country is racist (03:25).

“Trump won not by bringing out a racist majority,” de Blasio said. “I do not believe there is a racist majority in this country. I believe there is a core that unfortunately is racist for sure and it’s many millions of people. But if you look at just plain numbers, Trump won because a lot of Democrats stayed home. That’s the number one fact. A lot of young people stayed home. A lot of progressives stayed home. People of color stayed home. A lot 0f people stayed home. If they come out, we’re not even having this conversation.”


In the second and final part of The Root’s interview with de Blasio, the mayor broke down his stance on reparations (13:40), how he’d abolish ICE as president (00:23), why he disagrees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling immigrant detention centers “concentration camps” (05:48), his plan to tackle white supremacist violence (07:41) and why he isn’t comfortable with decriminalizing sex work (8:55). Senior reporter Terrell Jermaine Starr pushed back on his conflation of sex work and human trafficking (10:00).

We also asked de Blasio how he’d address the disproportionate killings of black trans women (12:04) as president. We ended the interview asking him why he’d run for president, given the challenges New York City is still facing (15:45) and why should Black Americans support his 2020 run (18:10).


The mayor also touched on the biggest lessons he has learned as a white man being part of a black family (20:30).

Terrell Jermaine Starr is a senior reporter at The Root. He is currently writing a book proposal that analyzes US-Russia relations from a black perspective.


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