The 2016 presidential debates are fast upon us, and there are a lot of important issues that we might expect the candidates to discuss during the first debate on Sept. 26. That's clearly because there are a lot of important issues facing this country, and with new leadership upon us, it is crucial for all Americans to know how our next potential president will respond in times of tragedy and crisis. So will Charlotte come up at the debate?
The protests in North Carolina in response to the fatal shooting of a 43-year-old black man named Keith Lamont Scott are ongoing as communities across the city and the country demand justice. As we prepare as a nation to elect a new president, there is no better time than now to hear what Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump have to say about racial justice, violent policing, and the protests erupting across the country in response.
Clinton took to Twitter to respond to the most recent fatal police shootings of Scott and Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old black man who was shot by a white officer on a highway in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while waiting for assistance because he was having car trouble. Her tweet read, "Keith Lamont Scott. Terence Crutcher. Too many others. This has got to end. -H." Meanwhile, Trump suggested, "The situations in Tulsa and Charlotte are tragic. We must come together to make America safe again," though it remains unclear exactly how either candidate will advocate for black Americans and against ongoing police violence.
Trump recently received an endorsement from the country's largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, which was met with criticism. The executive chairman of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, Anthony Miranda told Mother Jones, "There's not a need of anybody in the law enforcement community to take a side with someone that's going to create a rift in the communities that we're serving."
The country is increasingly polarized and racial tensions abound. There is a growing rift between police and the communities they are supposed to serve and just because a new president will take over the country in a mere matter of months does not mean these tensions and these very important issues will simply disappear.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the preliminary list of topics earlier this week, suggesting candidates might discuss "America's direction," "achieving prosperity," and "securing America," according to Politico. However, with the recent events in Tulsa and Charlotte, we might expect the candidates to discuss the issues of racism and policing as well, as that certainly slots right into the idea of where America is heading.
According to the Boston Globe, the upcoming debate is perhaps also the most highly anticipated debate in U.S. history. While we can certainly expect the debate to be entertaining, let's all keep in mind the serious issues that are at stake in this election.