Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Anya Silverman-Stoloff,

Press Release

UltraViolet Condemns Debate Topic "Race and Violence in our Cities"

Says This Framework Perpetuates Racist Narrative in the Midst of Police Violence, Needs to be Changed Immediately

Yesterday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, moderator for the first presidential debate on Tuesday September 29th, publicized the list of debate topics, which included “race and violence in our cities.” 

In reaction, Bridget Todd, Communications Director for UltraViolet, a leading national women’s advocacy group, explained:

“You know the pervasiveness of white supremacy runs deep if in 2020, at a time when the majority of Americans support the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement,  the Commission on Presidential Debates can’t even put out a list of topics without advancing anti-Black messaging  and dog whistles that play right into Trump’s racist narrative.

“This false framework, not surprising from a Fox News host, perpetuates racist right-wing disinformation, equates Blackness with violence, and ignores the realities of police violence and white supremacist terrorism.

“This is unacceptable. We cannot let anti-Blackness be the framework for our national debates.

"The Commission on Presidential Debates should never have approved this frame and must apologize and take immediate action to change it.

“This highlights how important it is to have the voices of women, Black people and people of color involved in our national conservations. In response to demands by gender equity and justice organizations including UltraViolet, TV networks and the DNC agreed to have at least one woman of color moderate each Democratic primary  debate. The Commission on Presidential Debates needs to make that same commitment."

Last month, UltraViolet, in conjunction with ACRONYM, Color Of Change PAC, Disinfo Defense League, EMILY’s List WOMEN VOTE!, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Votes, SumOfUs, Women’s March, Strategic Victory Fund, GQR Digital, and #ShePersisted., launched “Reporting in an Era of Disinformation: Fairness Guide for Covering Women and People of Color in Politics,” a new guide for reporting on the 2020 general election.

The guide makes specific recommendations designed to help journalists and platforms identify and avoid unintentional sexist and racist bias or disinformation when interviewing, writing, or moderating content about race and gender in politics.



UltraViolet is a powerful and rapidly growing community of people mobilized to fight sexism and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, from politics and government to media and pop culture.

100+ State Lawmakers Join Texas Dems in DC to Demand Passage of For the People Act

"I really want to make sure they understand what we're going through in Florida," said one legislator, calling for "a federal firewall from these state voter suppression activities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Near-Record Temps and Deadly Fires Engulf Southern Europe

"Everything is going to burn. Our land, our animals, and our house."

Andrea Germanos ·

Insulated From Patent Waivers, Pfizer and Moderna Hike Vaccine Prices

"Capitalism never fails to not surprise," wrote one observer.

Julia Conley ·

'Civil Disobedience Is Our Duty': Swiss Climate Campaigners Occupy Zürich Financial Center

"We have no other choice. Either phase out fossil fuels or face forest fires, famines, droughts, and floods."

Kenny Stancil ·

AOC Slams Conservative Dems Who Would Rather Skip Town Than Vote to Extend Eviction Ban

"We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have the majority."

Jake Johnson ·