Trump: His ‘outreach’ to African-Americans
When Donald Trump came to Detroit this week to engage in “African-American outreach,” said Rochelle Riley in the Detroit Free Press, “he sat in a black church for the first time ever,” awkwardly swaying to the music. But “nobody was fooled.” After months of speaking to almost entirely white audiences, the GOP nominee visited Great Faith Ministries, run by televangelist bishop Wayne Jackson. The two engaged in a question-andanswer session that was scripted in advance, and then an unusually sedate Trump read a speech. He called for “a civil rights agenda for our time” that ensures the right to a quality education, jobs, and “the right to live in safety and in peace.” Did he really think that black voters—who now give him close to zero percent support in national polls—“could be so easily swayed”?
“I do give Mr. Trump credit for making the trip,” said former Bush-Cheney adviser Ron Christie in The New York Times. But it’s clear he doesn’t grasp that “there is no such monolithic entity known as ‘the African-American community.’” Trump constantly pushes the view “that most blacks are doing badly and live in crime-infested neighborhoods,” and have “nothing to lose” by voting for him. In fact, “black America includes doctors, painters, welders, farmers, and even former White House staffers turned adjunct professors like me.” As a Republican I’d like to back Trump in November, but I’d like to know his specific proposals for continuing the nation’s progress. “There is in fact a lot to lose.”
“It’s the world’s worst-kept secret” that Trump’s so-called African-American outreach isn’t aimed at black voters, said Jason Sattler in USAToday.com. He’s really courting conservative-leaning, college-educated whites who are uncomfortable voting for a racist who made his name in national politics by calling the first black president a foreign-born traitor. “White voters can tell themselves whatever fables they want to justify supporting him,” said Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. But Trump can’t erase a 30-year history of housing discrimination in his real estate empire or decades of offensive rhetoric about women, blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. People who pull the lever for him would empower “a man who would do more to stir animosity and division among Americans than anyone ever elected to the presidency.”