Harlem residents and CCNY students feel conflicted by the election spectacle By Krystal Rivera
Harlem residents quickly filled up Grill On The Hill, the popular bar located just across from CCNY on Amsterdam, last week as the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump began. (If you missed it, click here to watch.)
Sly remarks, and intense chatter lingered throughout the room as the two candidates tried to convince America who would make a better fit for president. The questions they faced dealt with important issues such as building a better economy, race, and security. “Come on woman you got this,” shouted a middle-aged man in support of Clinton. Clinton has much more support among Latinos, people of African descent and the young, so it’s no surprise that most would clap as Clinton overpowered Trump.
Though after the debate, Clinton was declared the winner by pundits, polls and regular people, some continue to be undecided about whether to vote for her. That’s the case for Gina Daidone, a City College graduate who believes this comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils. “Our standards should be who’s the best candidate for this position, and I don’t believe either of them are,” states Daidone. “They’re both going to incite wars, only Trump will make it more hostile and violent.”
The debate heated up as the scandals of both candidates’ past came to light. Trump prodded Clinton about deleting tens of thousands of emails while using an unauthorized private server during her term as secretary of state; she says it was a mistake. Trump has refused to release his tax returns and boasted that he may have paid no federal income taxes for nearly two decades. He also praised New York City’s stop and frisk program, which is unconstitutional and widely seen as racist since it unfairly targets young black and Latino men and “fat shamed” a former Miss Universe.
Responses like these make it hard for others to make an educated decision when figuring out who to elect president. “I think both of them are con artists, and they both do it in their own ways,” said Brian Ogston, a Harlem resident. “All of the truth isn’t exactly forefront for either of them despite what they say about each other.”
For more drama, tune into round two; the next debate will be held on Sunday October 9 at Washington University.