It was announced last year that the Presidential Debate Commission had selected Virginia State University as one of the three sites for this year’s election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Needless to say, there was great excitement and appreciation expressed by the VSU and African-American communities throughout Virginia and indeed the nation.

Yesterday, representatives from the Biden administration made the unfortunate decision to cancel this debate. It rings hollow that this historic event will no longer take place. WHY is the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) selected for a debate forum being excluded? Who made this decision? One would assume that it was made by Biden directly, as well as setting the overall number, location and time of the debates. 

VSU has already expended significant financial and personnel resources in planning for this event, scheduled for October 1. Will the Biden administration provide any reimbursement to VSU? What are the real reasons that justify this pulling of the rug?

Virginia will play a vital role in this year’s presential election and it is extremely foolhardy for any candidate to take any votes for granted. This cancellation directly affects the people and is a detriment to civic engagement, which directly contradicts the principles of democracy for our citizenry. This is especially problematic for our African-American communities, who have far too long been disenfranchised by political establishments on both sides of the aisle.

I would say to President Biden, if you choose Virginia State University, Donald Trump CANNOT object. The ball is in your court Mr. President, and the game is on.

Stay tuned.

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