Cal Cunningham won the Democratic nomination for the Senate in North Carolina by defeating Erica Smith, a qualified African-American woman. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) went all in for Cunningham because, according to Smith, he "did not want an African American running for Senate in North Carolina."
Cunningham, a white male, could have proven his commitment to diversity by stepping aside so Smith could win the nomination. Instead, he conspired with Schumer and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to destroy her dreams.
Now that Cunningham is the Democratic nominee, he's been holding a bunch of virtual town halls and attempting to explain how deeply he values diversity. It has been awkward.
"Part of it's about where my heart is, part of it's about intentionality," Cunningham said of his commitment to diversity during a virtual town hall with Young Democrats of North Carolina on May 16. He promised to "lead by listening" and noted the "large number of African Americans on my campaign team."
True diversity, Cunningham explained, is about more than the number of black people on your staff. He pledged to involve the "Latinx" community as well, invoking the supposedly inclusive term for Hispanics that is popular among white liberal activists but not so much among actual Hispanics.
Cunningham also boasted that "gay and lesbian folks" were represented on his campaign staff, "even in my [team of] professional advisers," implying that the team is overwhelmingly white.
Cunningham, a former one-term state senator, has received significant financial assistance from Schumer-backed outside groups. He will face off against incumbent senator Thom Tillis (R.) in what is expected to be a close race.