The first presidential debate of the 2020 election season was an embarrassment to watch as President Trump and Vice President Biden talked over each other and moderator, Chris Wallace for an hour and a half. The train wreck that was too hard to walk away from took an even worse turn when Trump refused to denounce white supremacy. The biggest domestic terrorism threat to our nation was once again co-signed by our President and his supporters are just letting it slide.
“You are the worst President America has ever had,” Biden said to Trump. And although there’s a lot I disagree with Biden on, as Trump told white supremacist group “Proud Boys” to “stand back and standby”, I have to agree with Biden. A President that can’t denounce blatant racism and violence while claiming to be the president who has done the most for Black people aside from Abraham Lincoln is no friend of mine. His verbiage and tone is clearly against Black and brown individuals.
After calling literal klan members “fine people”, I honestly shouldn’t be shocked that he couldn’t stand on the debate stage with integrity and denounce white supremacy. More so, my shock and anger is with individuals who continue to support him when he has made it clear he has no intentions of using his power to eradicate such a social evil. After a traumatic summer of hearing “I see you, I hear you and I stand with you,” in response to violence that is a direct result of white supremacy, I wonder if that phrase holds any weight for individuals who are voting for him and supporting his policies that don’t see, hear or stand with racial minorities in America.
Trump’s “Platinum Plan” that he unveiled just before the debate is a sad attempt to gain the Black vote that he is lacking. The plan’s promise to create millions of job and to make lynching a federal hate crime and to prosecute KKK members sounds too good to be true. Why should we have any confidence that he and the Senate will implement these policies when he can’t even stand on stage and say white supremacy is bad? I’m personally tired of our Blackness being tokenized for political gain.
On top of Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy, he referred to the intellectual movement, critical race theory, as racist.
“We were paying people hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach very bad ideas and frankly, very sick ideas,” Trump said. “And really, they were teaching people to hate our country, and I’m not going to allow that to happen.”
But really he should be wondering why a movement that uses actual American history to illustrate modern systemic issues unveils so much racism and hatred woven into the foundation of our nation. To label an attempt to eradicate racism as racist is completely asinine.
The issue of racism all around was poorly handled by both candidates. While Biden has skeletons in his closet on the 1994 crime bill that completely reframed our criminal justice system and his false involvement with Apartheid in South Africa, he at the bare minimum could say he is against white supremacy. But why should Black Americans have to settle for bare minimum? Why can’t we live in a nation under leadership where we have complete confidence that they are working as hard as we are to eradicate racism and make white supremacists powerless?
On Nov 3, those who have been saying they stand with us the past several months, have the opportunity to put their ballot where their mouth is by not voting for Trump.