Race and Leadership — Youth React to Presidential Debate

Sep. 30, 2016 / By

The stakes were clearly high Monday as presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head to head in their first debate to vie for the most powerful spot to lead the nation.

During the debate, candidates were asked about race and black lives and how they would lead America in the right direction. Here are what three Lakewood High School students said about the candidates’ responses.

Táelor Dantzler 17


Hillary wants police officers to be retrained not to kill. Trump talks about how black people are getting shot everyday and how he’s building a relationship with the black community, which I thought was irrelevant to what he was asked.

Trump has good economic views and is good at making business decisions, but to me, he doesn’t really have enough experience to be president or speak about politics. Trump doesn’t know how to filter himself when it comes to speaking to important people and America.

As for Hillary, she has experience in being a representative for our nation. So I agree on what Hillary says about leading America into the right direction, and she knows how to keep a positive relationship with other countries.

Victoria White, 17


I feel Hillary answered this [race] question well, saying how she is for the black community and how she wants to help. I like when she bought up Donald Trump’s accusations about President Obama not being an American citizen.

Hillary pointed out how Trump’s career, since 1970, has had accusations of racism. Donald Trump answered by blaming President Obama for the recent [police and community tensions].

He points out that we need “law and order” because of the 4,000 killings … in Chicago. To me, I feel like he should’ve talked more about how to help the black community with jobs and the homeless rate.

Hillary’s response to the question about leading America in the right direction was answered best because she thought about the younger citizens… with her debt free plan for colleges and universities. Also, she mentioned more after-school programs for younger children, which I think is good for the community.

Kalonni Williams, 17

The way Hillary approached these questions I feel were appropriate. She wants everyone including the black community to be treated equally, because there’s no reason for people to feel like they’re not wanted in their own country or community.

I feel like we should keep everyone together and build our nation up strongly. On the other hand, the response Trump had about race and black lives was different. He feels that he is well-connected with the black community, which I do not agree with.

Hillary’s idea of leading America in the right direction was great because she made sure her points got across and gave valid answers to all of the questions. I liked everything she said about how wealthy people should pay their shares.

Let them pay for more programs for the unfortunate children to get involved more in the community and after-school activities. As for Trump, he did not really answer the question fully; he went on talking about something that was not pertaining to the question that was asked.

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Lola White

Lola is a very outgoing and trustworthy person who loves writing and is a self-described overachiever. She’s a bookworm on her free time and she enjoys eating donuts.