Monday, September 26, 2016

Clinton-Trump debate: racial justice tackled, immigration skipped

From the opening, Hillary Clinton took control by striding to Donald Trump's side of the stage to shake his hand.

IT WAS an unusual Presidential debate - to say the least - between Sec. Hillary Clinton and real estate magnate Donald Trump.

Early polls taken immediately after the debate at Hofstra University, showed that the Democratic candidate crushed the GOP presidential bet. It was clear that Clinton was better prepared and Trump's off-the-cuff style couldn't match Clinton's steady barrage of attacks on his tax returns, business dealings, his involvement in the birther movement, and his lack of knowledge on international affairs. Trump's penchant for denying earlier statements was often refuted by his opponent and by Holt, who did a fairly good job of reining in Trump's often rambling responses. 

The 90-minute debate moderated by NBC journalist Lester Holt, didn't seem to be enough time to cover all the issues. Surprisingly, Holt did not ask a single question on immigration and The Wall on the Mexico-U.S. border that has become a major part of Trump's campaign. Perhaps in the next two debates, the topic will come up.

There was no mention of banning Muslims or refugees either even though Trump's proposed policy stirred up a hornets' nest of controversy over the past year.

On the question about race relations, Clinton talked about the "implicit bias" that all of us must overcome; the need to restore trust between the community and police, fixing the criminal justice system and "We gotta get guns out of the hands of people who should not have them."

Trump's response was to make "stop and frisk" a national strategy to stop the killings and slow crime even though the New York said it leads to racial profiling and the courts have ruled the policy unconstitutional. "We need law and order," he said.

Still on the subject of race and how African/Americans viewed the birthism movement as an insult to the first black president, Trump repeated the falsehood that Clinton first questioned President Obama's birthright in her 2008 campaign and by getting the president to produce his birth certificate, he should be credited for succeeding in confirming Obama's birth in Hawaii.

Later in the debate, Trump showed that he still has lingering doubts about the legitimacy of Obama's presidency when he responded to Clinton, saying, "He's YOUR president." (Emphasis is mine.)

The closest the candidates touched on Asian affairs was when Trump mentioned he would make Japan and South Korea, along with the NATO nations pay for their own defense. He would renegotiate the defense treaties with those countries.  And there was Trump's opening line:

Clinton also brought up one of Trump's tweets in which he claimed China made up climate change to hurt U.S. industry. Trump denied it but it's true. Here it is, below!

There was barely a mention of Latinos and Asian/Americans and Native Americans were not mentioned at all. Granted, the shooting of unarmed African/Americans and the ensuing protests grab the big headlines, but perhaps someone could have said something about the growing Islamaphobia promoted by Trump's champaign rhetoric. I guess, it is still a black & white world for most of America, as noted by Bay Area journalist Emil Guillermo.

Reactions from Asian/Americans were not surprising, considering that the majority of Asian/Americans lean towards the Democrats.

The debate held at Hofstra University in New York is the first of three debates between the presidential candidates. Immigration, refugees, diversity or affirmative action will surely be a topic in one of those debates, right?