“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”
This was President Donald Trump’s response when asked to condemn white supremacy during the first 2020 presidential debate Wednesday.
The Proud Boys are a far-right, white nationalist organization. This is yet another instance where Trump endorsed racism and division implicitly. If white supremacy demonstrates pride, why does he insist on painting Black Lives Matter out to be a violent, extremist movement?
Refusing to condemn white supremacy gave a green light to his supporters to continue espousing racist, anti-Black, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and misogynistic views. Trump is heavily relying on white votes. Disenfranchising and denouncing all groups except for white hate groups is a strategic tactic to satisfy that demographic and stay afloat during this race.
“Somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem, this is a left-wing problem,” Trump said during the debate.
We are living in uncertain times. However, that uncertainty should not be a result of debate between elected officials who are in charge of protecting and serving our nation.
This year’s presidential debate was described as an embarrassment by many.
“This was not a debate, this was mud wrestling,” said ABC News reporter and correspondent, Martha Raddatz during a live discussion proceeding the debate.
The debate was a night of feud, passive-aggression and countless unwarranted interruptions. Moderator Chris Wallace struggled to make Trump respect and abide by the simple debate rules of not speaking out of turn and answering questions within a two-minute time frame.
There was a lack of constructive conversation pertaining to race issues in the country. This is unacceptable considering the racial tensions that have been in America since its founding, but specifically this year.
The public should be able to analyze the way Trump answers questions regarding racial tension because his responses are indicative of the nation's future if he is re-elected. But his lack of real, meaningful comments says enough.
His silence is deafening.
Racial antagonism is a prominent theme that has been present through not only his presidency, but his career before the 2016 election.
In 1989, Trump placed several advertisements in major newspapers calling for the death penalty for the accused rapists of Trisha Meili. These five minority boys were innocent, but were imprisoned for anywhere from 6 to 13 years.
Last year, Trump still refused to apologize for encouraging the death of the innocent, young boys. He was quoted by the New York Times saying, “You have people on both sides of that...they admitted their guilt.”
There are not two sides to blatant racism.
The risk of Trump’s re-election is terrifying for families raising young Black boys and girls. This is our reality. Will your child’s innocent life be the next to wither away behind jail cell bars, receiving no justice?
These are questions Black America fears we will have to ask ourselves if we are once again doomed by another four years of the Trump administration.
It is imperative all Americans tune in to the next debate on Oct. 15 and vote Nov. 3.