Great debate

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Most of us have probably read and seen enough by now about the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to watch those kind of things without confirmation bias—the ingrained tendency to see what you want to see. But I tried to put myself in the shoes of an undecided voter or at least an extraterrestrial.

One candidate seemed confident, intelligent, poised, educated and prepared. At worst, she occasionally seemed smug or evasive—as when glossing over her change of position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example. But the other candidate seemed abrasive, arrogant and flustered. He huffed, puffed, guffawed, sniffed, snorted, bragged, boasted and yelled. He interrupted his opponent constantly, ignored decorum and rambled incoherently.

Many of the things he bragged and boasted about were unethical—refusing to pay people for their work, avoiding taxes, financially benefiting from other people’s suffering during the housing collapse, looking out for his own interests at the expense of everyone else.

These comments have been discussed at great length by other media outlets, but there’s one outrageous statement he made that I haven’t seen get much attention. While discussing race relations in this country, Trump said, “In Palm Beach, Florida … probably the wealthiest community there is in the world, I opened a club, and really got great credit for it. No discrimination against African-Americans, against Muslims, against anybody. And it’s a tremendously successful club. … And I’m very, very proud of it.”

If I understand him correctly, it seems like he was bragging that black people are allowed to golf at his expensive resort—as though that’s somehow praiseworthy and in defiance of expectations. Like it was a brilliant, radical idea for him to give African-Americans and Muslims the incredible privilege and honor to spend their money at his golf club. Like all we need to do to heal race relations in this country is give everyone an equal chance to give Trump their money.

Brad Bynum