The country is now dealing with the news of another fatal shooting by police. While the details are still being uncovered, protests have already started over the shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In a year that has already seen 505 police involved shootings, 122 against African Americans, according to tracking by The Washington Post, another fatality could potentially increase tensions and polarization across the country.
But you wouldn't know a serious, dividing incident took place if you followed the statements of our main presidential candidates! In fact, as of this writing, both candidates have been surprisingly silent on the issue of Sterling's shooting. Instead, both parties are in a Twitter war and issuing statements about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's business record with Atlantic City casinos.
Clinton took the stage in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Wednesday afternoon to give a speech on Trump's record in the gambling city. Trump responded after the speech with a press release and several tweets including one saying, "I made a lot of money in Atlantic City and left 7 years ago, great timing (as all know). Pols made big mistakes, now many bankruptcies." Clinton later responded with her own tweets. And neither mentioned Sterling once.
Leadership is responding to societal problems and major events in a way that lets the public know they are in good hands. It would have taken all of a few minutes to acknowledge another important piece of history that took place Wednesday. Neither candidate did that. Instead, they bickered with each other, and to me, they seemed like children, pointing fingers and sticking out their tongues.
Whatever your politics, I would argue that it's hard to deny that both candidates should be ashamed. Yes, we are in an election. Yes, that requires attacking and responding to attacks by your opponent. Yes, there are constantly bad things taking place and no, you can't stop your campaign whenever something bad happens. I concede to all of that. But if you can't be bothered to at least acknowledge that another police-involved fatality involving a black man took place — if the candidates cannot be bothered to acknowledge that the 505th officer involved shooting took place — well then I don't even want to know them.
Image: Bustle/Caroline Wurtzel