Although the Republican Presidential Candidates Debate on Fox News lasted longer than two hours, the Thursday night (Aug. 6) telecast featured a pathetically short section addressing racially-motivated police brutality and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
More than halfway through the debate, Megyn Kelly broached the topic as the words “Racial Issues” were emblazoned across the screen. In response to the divisive issue, viewers were treated to a response from one out of the ten candidates that lasted just 30 seconds. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker fielded the question — which is fair, given that Milwaukee remains the top contender for “most segregated city in the country” — and gave a general answer about the importance of police training, strategically avoiding the words “racism,” “black” and “brutality.”
After Walker’s half-minute evasion, the Fox hosts tossed to a commercial break. Oddly enough, the first commercial was for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, a film about a rap group who famously declared “Fuck Tha Police” in response to institutionalized racism in Compton, CA.
Tellingly and tragically, the Straight Outta Compton ad ran double the length of the “Racial Issues” discussion during the debate. They took 30 seconds to vaguely address racist police brutality, followed by an ad twice as long and five times more illuminating.
True, the moderators brought the question back around during the ‘closing remarks’ section, directing it solely to Dr. Ben Carson, the only African-American candidate out of the 10 on stage. But Carson threw the discussion even further away from #BlackLivesMatter and police brutality. He talked about how skin color doesn’t matter, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and other statements that sound nice but distract from the fact that in the real world, some people with badges and guns are racist and act on it with tragic results.
So in conclusion: The issues of racism and police brutality were better represented during a commercial break than the actual ‘debate’ portion of the 2015 GOP Debate.