Fierce

6 Main Takeaways From the Debate: What Was Said, What Was NOT Said, and What Was Just Plain False

The first Presidential Debate of 2020 was filled with interruptions, insults, and low blows. The presidential candidates discussed the vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, climate change, the COVID-19 Pandemic, racial tensions and social justice protests, violence, the economy, and election integrity. 

In a recent Instagram Story where Latinas in the FIERCE community were asked what they would have liked the candidates to discuss, numerous community individuals said they would have also liked the candidates to address immigration, DACA, and go more in depth on Black and Brown communities. This did not happen. Here are the major takeaways you need to know:

1. Trump Interrupting And Speaking Out Of Turn

@AOC / Twitter
@ClareMalone / Twitter

It was hard to hear what either candidate said they planned to do once elected for the next four years if elected president. President Trump continually interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden or talked over him during his turn to speak making it increasingly difficult for the audience to hear what Biden had to say.

Biden at one point responded with “Will you shut up, man.”

Moderator Chris Wallace raised his voice several times during the night and stopped to remind the President that he agreed to follow the speaking rules during the debate. Despite this, the President continually ignored Wallace’s pleas for civility. Even Wallace, a skilled and experienced broadcast journalist and anchor who hosts Fox News Sunday, had an overwhelmingly difficult time keeping President Trump from following the speaking and debate rules. The people took to social media on behalf of Chris Wallace including AOC herself.

2. Trump Insisting The Elections Could Be Tampered 

         Toward the end of the debate, President Trump went on a tirade on how this election would be fraudulent due to mail-in voting, even though people like the military have been doing it since the Civil War. Trump claimed that ballots which casted votes for Trump were found in ditches, streams, and trash cans. He also alluded that it may even take months until after Election Day to count all the ballots since many ballots would be submitted on November 3rd and would still need to be counted. Still, according to professional voter analytics, these claims have been proven as false, misleading, or misinformed.

3.  Trump Failed To Condemn White Supremacist Groups 

@NobleLead / Parler / Credit to BBC

         Moderator Chris Wallace asked President Trump if he would condemn white supremacists in light of certain examples such as what happened in Virginia in 2018 with white supremacist protestors. When the issue of racism and current nationwide protests were brought up, Trump asked Wallace “Who do you want me to condemn?” and “What do you call them?” directed towards Wallace when Wallace asked Trump about condemning white supremacists. Trump said “sure,” but instead followed saying most of the problems he sees come from the far left and “Antifa” groups, short for “anti-fascist” a group known to be extreme left and violent when situations arise.

On the opposite side of Antifa is an extreme-right group with ties to white nationalists called The Proud Boys, an all-male group who are anti-immigrant, known for violence, and champion ideas such as “Make America great again,” “give everyone a gun,” and “venerate the housewife.”

With an opportunity in front of millions for Trump to condemn white supremacy, he simply did not.

He instead turned to blame left-wing groups and Antifa and also said “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” To whom some violent Proud Boys members responded by adopting ‘Stand Back and Stand By” as a new motto. 

Trump dodged the issue of white supremacy by also stating Biden is afraid to adopt moderately central ideas because of the differences in the left wing’s moderates and what Trump perceives as more far-left beliefs. A tactic he used four years ago with Hilary Clinton.

Biden responded by saying “Antifa is an idea, not an organization. That is what [President Trump’s] FBI director said.”

4. Candidates Attempting To Articulate Where They Stand With Law Enforcement 

@SheriffReese / Twitter

In response to Trump’s claim that all law-enforcement support him, Biden said he too supports the police. Both candidates had a hard time addressing the issue of police brutality or racism because it turned into an argument of left versus right when Trump said “most of the problems I keep seeing are from the left,” and accused Biden of calling Black Americans “super-predators,” a term fact-checkers have since addressed as misleading. While Biden has admitted his past crime bills were regrettable, moderators stated these “super-predators” while a very problematic term, were in reference to violent people committing crimes, a term which was actually said by Hilary Clinton in 1994.

The irony is that in the same breath, President Trump accused Biden of being both too weak and too harsh on crime. Additionally, in a brief mention of the issue of “Defund the Police,” to which both candidates claim to not support, Trump’s own budget plans would reduce police funding for things like body cameras.

Biden mentioned how under President Obama’s term, crime went down “15-17%” which then shot back up again during the Trump administration. According to FBI research violent crime has risen in both Democratic and Republican-led cities

Biden mentioned in his discussion that when he becomes president, that he would make sure to get both law enforcement and civil rights leaders/activists to discuss systemic change and equal justice for all such as: reimagining some new ways of policing like having mental health professionals more involved for mental health and drug crisis.

One police officer tweeted in response to President Trump’s statement of the ‘Portland Sheriff supports me.” Sheriff Mike Reese of Multnomah County, a county in Oregon, tweeted he does not support President Trump.

5. Biden Talking Straight To The American People

@thehill / Twitter

One thing that seemed to be well-received from the former Vice President were the intimate moments Biden spoke directly to the camera.

Biden looked deeply hurt, when President Trump hurled low-blow insults about Biden’s sons, especially when defending his son, Hunter, from his recovery from a drug problem. Biden also defended his late son Beau, a war veteran who died of brain cancer in 2015. In response to Trump’s attacks, Biden said his son “…was not a loser. He was a patriot and the people left behind there were heroes,” in response to Trump saying soldiers who don’t come back from war are losers. 

Biden addressed American families directly throughout the debate when discussing affordable healthcare, no to higher taxes, and safety for suburban homes, a strategy he continually used to go around Trump’s insinuations. Meanwhile, Trump accused Biden of being a socialist on healthcare, which is since proven not true, since Biden’s plan would provide an option for a government-run public healthcare plan on the Affordable Care Act but would not eliminate the private insurance. Eliminating the Affordable Care Act could strip 20 million people of health insurance.

Many people took to Twitter comparing Joe Biden’s camera glances to Jim Halpert in The Office.

6. Questions Biden And Trump Did NOT Answer

For starters when asked, Biden didn’t clearly state whether or not he would support expanding the Supreme Court.

Trump also failed to address his tax returns. In a recent New York Times article, it was reported that Trump only paid $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017. The President claimed he paid “millions,” but did not give specifics or state when he would release his tax returns to prove otherwise.

In between talking over each other, neither candidate gave a specific plan on how to properly reopen the country during the pandemic.

Trump stated that Dr. Fauci said Trump did a great job in saving lives in the pandemic.  Biden rebutted by stating President Trump was irresponsible in handling the pandemic citing Trump was holding rallies with large crowds and no social distancing. Trump responded saying that Biden could never hold a rally like that because no one would show up to support him.

Trump also referred to COVID as the “Chinese plague,” and the fault of China.

Trump said divorce, alcoholism, and depression is up in households but did not provide statistics or the means of how to address the pandemic in order to address the issues that have arisen from quarantines. Nevertheless, the President did say “I’m the one who brought back football!”

Both candidates briefly discussed reopening the country and the COVID vaccine. Biden said he’d want to reopen with enough money and PPE for businesses and schools in order to “give them the wherewithal” to reopen safely. Moderator Chris Wallace asked if Biden’s plans for COVID relief and the economy would raise taxes and Biden answered that his plan would create 7 million more jobs in one year and more than 1 trillion in economic growth.

Trump also did not give a coherent answer on how he would accept a loss to the election.

Even when Wallace asked both candidates if they would promise to not claim victory until the official results are out and promised to keep their supporters in check from not wreaking any havoc, the President did not directly answer this question and instead stated he would not take it if he felt the election was fraudulent.

After the debate, Biden is winning in public polling nationally and even in some swing states. Six in 10 people believe Biden won the debate and only 28% believe Trump did well. Viewers were overwhelmingly bipartisan and many are registered as independents. Many of them state that the debate should have been handled better. However, about 2/3 of viewers trusted Biden more, believed he was telling the truth, and believed his attacks on President Trump were fair. 

Overall, the public did not seem to be overwhelmingly swayed in who they were already voting for after this debate. There was a general feeling of disappointment from this debate and it’s productivity with criticisms of both candidates. Time will tell with the upcoming debates how the candidates may do either better or worse.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Courtesy of Timothy Pollard

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

Entertainment

Exclusive: Luis Fonsi Talks Working with Rauw Alejandro, Christina Aguilera, and Demi Lovato

UNIVERSAL MUSIC LATIN

Luis Fonsi is kicking off 2021 with a new single. The Puerto Rican superstar premiered the music video for “Vacío” on Feb. 18 featuring rising Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. The guys put a new spin on the classic “A Puro Dolor” by Son By Four.

Luis Fonsi throws it back to his románticas.

“I called Omar Alfanno, the writer of ‘A Puro Dolo,’ who is a dear friend,” Fonsi tells Latido Music. “I told him what my idea was [with ‘Vacío’] and he loved it. He gave me his blessing, so I wrote a new song around a few of those lines from ‘A Puro Dolor’ to bring back that nostalgia of those old romantic tunes that have been a part of my career as well. It’s a fresh production. It sounds like today, but it has that DNA of a true, old-school ballad.”

The world got to know Luis Fonsi through his global smash hit “Despacito” with Daddy Yankee in 2017. The remix with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber took the song to new heights. That was a big moment in Fonsi’s music career that spans over 20 years.

There’s more to Fonsi than “Despacito.”

Fonsi released his first album, the fittingly-titled Comenzaré, in 1998. While he was on the come-up, he got the opportunity of a lifetime to feature on Christina Aguilera’s debut Latin album Mi Reflejo in 2000. The two collaborated on “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” Luis Fonsi scored multiple Billboard Hot Latin Songs No. 1s in the years that followed and one of the biggest hits was “No Me Doy Por Vencido” in 2008. That was his career-defining romantic ballad.

“Despacito” remains the second most-viewed music video on YouTube with over 7.2 billion views. The hits did not stop there. Later in 2017, he teamed up with Demi Lovato for “Échame La Culpa,” which sits impressively with over 2 billion views.

He’s also appearing on The Voice next month.

Not only is Fonsi working on his new album, but also he’s giving advice to music hopefuls for the new season of The Voice that’s premiering on March 1. Kelly Clarkson tapped him as her Battle Advisor. In an exclusive interview, Fonsi talked with us about “Vacío,” The Voice, and a few of his greatest hits.

What was the experience like to work with Rauw Alejandro for “Vacío”?

Rauw is cool. He’s got that fresh sound. Great artist. Very talented. Amazing onstage. He’s got that great tone and delivery. I thought he had the perfect voice to fit with my voice in this song. We had talked about working together for awhile and I thought that this was the perfect song. He really is such a star. What he’s done in the last couple of years has been amazing. I love what he brought to the table on this song.

Now I want to go through some of your greatest hits. Do you remember working with Christina Aguilera for her Spanish album?

How could you not remember working with her? She’s amazing. That was awhile back. That was like 1999 or something like that. We were both starting out and she was putting out her first Spanish album. I got to sing a beautiful ballad called “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido.” I got to work with her in the studio and see her sing in front of the mic, which was awesome. She’s great. One of the best voices out there still to this day.

What’s one of your favorite memories of “No Me Doy Por Vencido”?

“No Me Doy Por Vencido” is one of the biggest songs in my career. I think it’s tough to narrow it down just to one memory. I think in general the message of the song is what sticks with me. The song started out as a love song, but it turned into an anthem of hope. We’ve used the song for different important events and campaigns. To me, that song has such a powerful message. It’s bigger than just a love song. It’s bringing hope to people. It’s about not giving up. To be able to kind of give [people] hope through a song is a lot more powerful than I would’ve ever imagined. It’s a very special song.

I feel the message is very relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic we’re living through.

Oh yeah! I wrote that song a long time ago with Claudia Brant, and during the first or second month of the lockdown when we were all stuck at home, we did a virtual writing session and we rewrote “No Me Doy Por Vencido.” Changing the lyrics, kind of adjusting them to this situation that we’re living now. I haven’t recorded it. I’ll do something with it eventually. It’s really cool. It still talks about love. It talks about reuniting. Like the light at the end of the tunnel. It has the hope and love backbone, but it has to do a lot with what we’re going through now.

What do you think of the impact “Despacito” made on the industry?

It’s a blessing to be a part of something so big. Again, it’s just another song. We write these songs and the moment you write them, you don’t really know what’s going to happen with them. Or sometimes you run into these surprises like “Despacito” where it becomes a global phenomenon. It goes No. 1 in places where Spanish songs had never been played. I’m proud. I’m blessed. I’m grateful to have worked with amazing people like Daddy Yankee. Like Justin Bieber for the remix and everyone else involved in the song. My co-writer Erika Ender. The producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres. It was really a team effort and it’s a song that obviously changed my career forever.

What was the experience like to work with Demi Lovato on “Echáme La Culpa”?

She’s awesome! One of the coolest recording sessions I’ve ever been a part of. She really wanted to sing in Spanish and she was so excited. We did the song in Spanish and English, but it was like she was more excited about the Spanish version. And she nailed it! She nailed it from the beginning. There was really not much for me to say to her. I probably corrected her once or twice in the pronunciation, but she came prepared and she brought it. She’s an amazing, amazing, amazing vocalist.

You’re going to be a battle advisor on The Voice. What was the experience like to work with Kelly Clarkson?

She’s awesome. What you see is what you get. She’s honest. She’s funny. She’s talented. She’s humble and she’s been very supportive of my career. She invited me to her show and it speaks a lot that she wanted me to be a part of her team as a Battle Advisor for the new season. She supports Latin music and I’m grateful for that. She’s everything you hope she would be. She’s the real deal, a true star, and just one of the coolest people on this planet.

What can we expect from you in 2021?

A lot of new music. Obviously, everything starts today with “Vacío.” This is literally the beginning of what this new album will be. I’ve done nothing but write and record during the last 10 months, so I have a bunch of songs. Great collaborations coming up. I really think the album will be out probably [in the] third or fourth quarter this year. The songs are there and I’m really eager for everybody to hear them.

Read: We Finally Have A Spanish-Language Song As The Most Streamed Song Of All Time

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com