Last night was the first time I tuned into the national presidential race. Up until now, I’ve been more focused on what is happening locally in Phoenix, because that’s my world and where I think we have real power. I don't think I have been missing out on much, since most of the conversations I hear are about racism, hate, and promises for the future without actions in the now. But watching the first presidential debate, I felt three things: terror, inspiration, and skepticism. Republican candidate Donald Trump is a racist. He acts like he’s for African-Americans and other communities of color, but then promotes stop-and-frisk as an effective policy. He announced that he was proud to be endorsed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ union. Frankly, I don’t understand how he’s an actual candidate. But then again, I’ve lived under Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who introduces Trump when he comes to town) in Arizona’s Maricopa County for the past 23 years, so I know something about white men who cover up their shortcomings by attacking our families.
Ever since I can remember paying attention to politics, Republicans have attacked us, and Democrats have ignored and failed to support and defend us.
It is having each other’s back that will allow us to stop bigotry. In many ways, this election isn’t about the people on stage; it’s about us and what we can do.
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