Expert Says Racial Injustice Will Be Key 2020 Topic

Expert Says Racial Injustice Will Be Key 2020 Topic
Racial injustice will likely be a major 2020 issue, but one expert points out differences in how President Trump and Joe Biden talk about the topic.

The tensions that have played out on streets across the country, now front and center on the campaign trail.

"Politicians make false charges and they're trying to distract from their own failed records," President Donald Trump said.  "They have some very bad records. And these are usually ones that caused the problems or can't solve the problems."

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden accusing the president of dividing the country for his own political gains during an event with Black community leaders in Philadelphia.

President Trump, meanwhile, in Dallas, participating in a roundtable on police reform. So far, the White House has been unclear about exactly what reform or policies the President might support. 

"If we look at the two different ways that these candidates have dealt with the issue of police violence," said Todd Belt. "We see President Trump coming out strong on the law and order side also trying to use the military in order to enforce that, and we see Vice President Biden trying to go with the more empathetic response."

The Trump campaign has been criticized for announcing it will resume rallies amid the ongoing pandemic. One is being planned in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in America, and in a city where Black businesses were burned and Black people murdered during race riots in 1921.

"He's working on rectifying injustices," said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. "Injustices that go back to the beginning of this country's history. So it's a meaningful day to him, and it's a day where he wants to share some of the progress that's been made as we look forward to what needs to be done, especially as we look towards this police reform."

The president has seen his support drop significantly in recent polls amid ongoing protests and disapproval of his handling of race relations.

And Todd Belt says the president will likely use race on the campaign trail if he sees it as a way to motivate his supporters. 

"This is part of the way he campaigns, and he's taking it right out of the Southern Strategy of Nixon from 1968. And this is something he knows," Belt said. "He knows about dividing in order to win and solidifying his base."

Belt adds that racial injustice will likely remain a major flashpoint during the 2020 election, with both parties seeing it as a way to motivate voters. And activists hopeful of keeping the public's attention. 

"Leaders are trying to put together another march at the end of August, [on] Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C., to string this out a little bit longer, to keep the public focused on this," Belt added.