CUNY Students on Presidential Debate

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trumpWith one day left in the 2016 presidential race, irate CUNY students express cynicism at the mounting racial tensions among both parties.

Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton, is ahead of her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump, by four points. According to recent statistics from Roper Center, the majority of Clinton supporters are women, college students and African-Americans. Trump, however, leads among white men, whites without a college degree and senior citizens.                       
Last week, distinguished political experts held a discussion about the presidential race at Baruch College. According to some students, the discussion focused on improving race in America. But African-American Studies major, Ashley Apparbal, does not believe either candidate is qualified to run the country. 

“I don’t think that there’s a good candidate, but we only have two options,” said Apparbal. “I’d choose Clinton, the lesser of two evils. I feel like this election, especially for people of color, is like choosing the lesser evil. There’s Trump who has some of the white supremacist groups supporting him. Then you also have Clinton whose husband helped to further extend Nixon’s war on drugs, which in return became a war on African Americans. We can’t win.”

City College Business Major, Quain Salick, said he will also be voting for Clinton because he feels he has no other choice.

“Voting makes a difference,” said Salick as he laughed. “Trump would be the worst candidate in my eyes. I’d rather have Clinton because even though she may not really care for minorities, at least she does a good job faking it. Trump blatantly hates us and he makes it clear everyday.”

Throughout the entire election, Trump has made copious racial slurs about Muslims, Blacks and Hispanics. Although he has made derogatory comments, Trump later refuted those claims in July on Entertainment Tonight, claiming to “not have a racist bone in his body.”  Although less overt, Clinton has also referenced racial stereotypes. In April, she made jokes about Black people and tardiness.

Although the Democratic party is leading by college students, there is still a growing concern among some political science professors of the lack of willingness of young people to vote. In New York State, there is an estimated 3,012,309 voters from age 18-29 eligible to vote, but the amount of registered have decreased by nearly 4% this year, according to October 2016 statistics from the U.S Census Bureau.
 
“So many kids are eligible to vote, but aren’t registered,” said Michael Benson, an adjunct CUNY Political Science professor. “Yes, both candidates aren’t the crème of the crop, but we’re going to end up with shocking results if young people don’t start realizing that they have a huge impact on the elections. I think a lot of them think that the electoral college’s vote is the only one that matters, but that’s not true.”

But York College Communications Technology major, Shatera McCallum, attributes her lack of participation in voting to not being educated enough and the increase of propaganda on social media.

“It’s bad enough that the media only highlights the dumb stuff Trump and Hillary say, but the few important things they do mention, I am not too informed about,” she said. “I should have read more newspapers to learn more facts, but then again all they covered was [Trump and Clinton’s] scandals. And to me, this entire election revolves around race. Who can get more minority votes? Clinton. Who can get the redneck vote? Trump. The entire country and the race is divided.”
   
Medgar Evers Marketing major, Lyndia Bennett, believes too many people are focused on race and not the real issues. She said even though she is registered to vote, she is not going to until America creates an independent party.
   
“This election is not about race, it’s not even about gender. It’s about power,” said Bennett. “When Obama got elected, we focused too much on the fact that he was Black, but he has done stuff that hasn’t exactly benefited minorities. Clinton is a people pleaser, and Trump is racist. I just think we are getting gender and race shoved in our face to distract us from the real problem. Young people are supposed to change the world and make it better, not add to the problem.”