Trump fumbles chance to deal forthrightly with racial unrest

Donald J. Trump came to North Texas today ostensibly to talk about race relations, about police reform and about how to quell the suspicions of the African-American community about police protection in its neighborhoods.

Well, he didn’t come close to sealing the deal.

Trump spoke to mostly white folks. He snubbed three of Dallas County’s top law enforcement officials — all of whom are black — and talked mostly aloud about the demonstrations that turned riotous in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in late May.

Trump never mentioned George Floyd’s name in public. He talked about the beauty of seeing Minneapolis police use tear gas to disperse demonstrators.

Where was the public acknowledgement that there might, indeed, be a serious problem with police protection in African-American communities? I didn’t hear anything.

I continue to support police efforts to protect and serve the communities they patrol. I am not going to endorse the notion of “systemic racism” within all police departments. I do, though, acknowledge there needs to be serious examination of police practices and there should be a careful and thorough discussion of ways that police departments can ensure that they treat all citizens equally.

I wish Donald Trump would have spoken to all of that while he visited North Texas. He didn’t say a word publicly about police practices. He didn’t say a word about the man whose recent death has galvanized a movement.

Donald Trump failed once again.

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