Second presidential debate at The Apollo

A not-so-great cell phone pic of Christina Greer moderating the debate discussion at The Apollo.

I got to watch the second presidential debate at the world famous Apollo Theater in Harlem tonight. It was my first time there.

It’s a lot smaller than it looks on television, but it’s a sight to be seen. Especially the outdoor sign. It’s so bright!

One of Fordham’s political science professors, Christina Greer, was asked to moderate a panel discussion before and after the debate. The panel included Esther Armah (WBAI-FM), Herb Boyd (The New York Amsterdam News), Michael Brendan Dougherty (The American Conservative), Mark Riley (WWRL 1600 AM), William Tucker [The American Spectator], and Armstrong Williams (SiriusXM’s The Power).

My colleague Janet will blog about the discussion, which touched on several topics, but a comment by Dougherty of The American Conservative stayed with me. When asked what will the candidates NOT talk about tonight, he predicted they’d avoid: the unemployment of black males; the war on drugs, which leads to the incarceration of an overwhelming amount of black males; the use of drones, civil liberties and guns.

Well, he was wrong on guns, since it came up in a town hall question. Too bad neither candidate came up with a real solution or promised to get real “tough” on guns since we know there are a lot of people in this country who would lose their minds if you dared threaten the 2nd Amendment or the gun industry.

But, Dougherty was dead on about all the other things he predicted they’d avoid. Yet I am not surprised.

I’ll admit it–I’m a pessimist (let’s all be thankful I’m not a politician running the country). But I just can’t see ALL or even most of America demanding that the unemployment or incarceration of black males come up at the dinner table, let alone in a national discussion.

And did you notice none of tonight’s questions directly dealt with the poor or the disabled? Many people jumped on Mitt Romney for his 47% comment. But sometimes I wonder why most of us–the middle class that is so often mentioned in campaign stump speeches and debates–go right along ignoring issues that are not personally affecting us. (And are they not affecting us in the long run?)


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