Symone Sanders calls out Trump over chat with Roseanne Barr and ignoring Stephon Clark
Democratic strategist Symone Sanders, a Black woman speaking to the political sphere with the voice of reason, made a CNN appearance on Thursday and asked the questions many have wanted to ask — and simultaneously answering those questions as well.
Sanders appeared on CNN to discuss the nationwide coverage following the death of Stephon Clark and the Baton Rouge Police Department’s decision to not prosecute the officers responsible for Alton Sterling’s death, which was determined on Tuesday.
The host opened the show by asking Sanders and Donald Trump supporter and television host Rob Astorino what has prompted the president’s silence on the issue.
Although we’ve grown accustomed to Trump’s lack of acknowledgment to ills that plague people of color, host Kate Bolduan produced a popular clip in which Trump stated his dissatisfaction with the officers of Baton Rouge who killed Sterling while holding him down with one foot and shooting him at point-blank distance.
“I thought they were terrible,” said Trump during his campaign trail in 2016 about the Baton Rouge cops. “I thought it was a terrible, disgusting performance that I saw. Now, whether that’s training, whether they choked, they got scared or nervous— the one man who was being stepped on and then shot, in particular, I looked and I said, ‘wow, that’s bad, that’s bad.’
Now recently, Trump has been completely silent on the topic. But the White House has, however, somewhat alluded to their stance, having press secretary Sarah Sanders state that Trump believes police shootings of unarmed Black people are a “local matter” that “should be left up to the local authorities.”
So, what’s changed?
“The idea that this is a ‘local matter’ is absolutely laughable. We know that President Trump will comment on anything. He called Roseanne yesterday to talk about her show,” said Sanders. “He comments on things that are happening in communities across this country and abroad all the time.”
“The idea that he cannot comment on Stephon Clark, that he doesn’t have a comment on the Alton Sterling case is laughable and is, frankly, sad.”
In defense of Trump, Astorino said, “If the president, on every case, jumps in, it becomes national and it becomes very divisive. This, already is divisive, but there’s a process here.” Astorino, who referenced Sterling’s use of drugs and having been in possession of a gun alluded to the belief that Trump “shouldn’t get involved in that,” to which Sanders had had enough.
“I really think it’s problematic here when we start to demonize the victims in these questions. The question on the table is, why can Donald Trump comment on everything else, but when it comes to issues that do not fit his political narrative, we cannot hear from this White House,” Sanders later.
“I’m not going to let you sit here and let you say that Alton Sterling was basically a criminal that was reaching for his gun and deserved to get shot,” said Sanders. “The young man that shot and killed 17 people on a high school campus the other day, he was taken into custody alive. Dylan Roof who walked into a church and shot nine people, he was taken into custody alive and then was taken to Burger King to get a burger.
“It seems as though, that when we have suspects or people who are engaged with police officers that are a little more melenated than some of our counterparts, they seem to not make it out of these situations alive,” Sanders continued.
Astorino continued his stance that Trump would be “jumped on” for interjecting himself into the conversation.
“I would like him to say something that calms the fears and concerns of people and communities across this country because Donald Trump is the president of all people,” said Sanders.
And now, let the church say, “Amen.”
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