Trump’s BS ‘Black Outreach’ Isn’t Just Failing, It’s Backfiring – And Here’s Why
Trump’s ‘Black Outreach’ Is A Joke – But It’s Not Funny
Beyond the strident, blaring tones of the Trump campaign frantically sounding their own trumpets over the much-touted ‘black outreach!’ conducted by Trump is another sound.
The quiet but resounding noise of failure, punctuated by the sharper, clearly articulated noise of an epic backfire.
Polls show that African Americans are just as likely to vote for Hillary Clinton, against Donald Trump, as they were during the historical election of Barack Obama against John McCain. Even in a voting bloc that does tend to swing largely Democratic, Trump is failing, polling at below one percent in some states. Even Mitt Romney managed to pull in 17 percent of the black vote while running against Obama.
Donald Trump’s dismal showing in polls among African Americans has led to this “black outreach,” done mere months before the election, after more than a year of campaigning in nearly all-white communities to nearly all-white audiences.
‘What Do You Have To Lose?’
Trump began his laughable black outreach by asking African Americans, “What do you have to lose?”
Yeah. Because they have nothing worth saving, right, Donald?
“What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. You have no jobs — 58 percent of your youth is unemployed.”
Never mind that his appeal to black voters was condescending and full of stereotypes. It also wasn’t even aimed at blacks. Donald Trump gave his big “vote for me, so you don’t get shot at since you’re unemployed and living in the ghetto anyhow!” speech to yet another white audience. In fact, his speech was crafted not for a potential black voter, but for white voters who are turned off by his blatant racism.
This wasn’t Donald Trump making a genuine attempt at black outreach. This was Donald Trump throwing a bone to white voters who prefer their racism to be more subtle.
Now, however, Trump and his campaign are taking their celebrated black outreach to Detroit. Trump will attend services at a black church, which will surely be gloriously awkward for all involved. But don’t think Trump is going to be so outreach-y as to actually give a speech to the congregants there. Instead, he will be engaging in a one-on-one with the church’s minister.
The Message Is Racist
But it’s not just Trump’s unwillingness to take his black outreach message to African Americans that’s backfiring – it’s the message itself.
The message is a standard one for the GOP. The Democratic Party harms African Americans through welfare. The Democrats have simply thrown so many benefits at African Americans that, in turn, black people have become “enslaved” on the modern version of a plantation, stripping African Americans of any dignity or chance at equality. The Democratic Party is the oppressor of African Americans, holding them down with the promise of “free stuff,” while the GOP offers them liberation and freedom and self-sufficiency through…what? Tax cuts for the rich? Voucher programs for the schools? Climate change denial?
They’re not really clear on that part.
This “plantation” theory has been a beloved one of the GOP, used to deny their party’s own deeply racist history, starting with the Southern Strategy in the 1960s and continuing today, with their abject fury over the election of an “uppity” black man who “shucked and jived” his way into leader of the most powerful country on earth.
GOP Re-writes History
It’s a deeply revisionist, and overtly racist, theory – on many levels, and in many ways.
As Ed Kilgore, for New York magazine writes:
“To put it another way, it’s probably not a coincidence that Trump’s view of black people as lazy freedom-despising dependents living in a hellish prison built of their own pathologies happens to coincide with that of white racists everywhere, past and present. Black people do tend to notice that.”
Yes. That. And they remember, too, Kilgore notes, that Trump led the birther movement against the first African American president, and they understand, in a way that many white voters do not, the racism inherent in casting doubt on the citizenship of Barack Obama.
“Observers who are mystified by Trump’s low standing among African-Americans do not seem to grasp the deeply racist subtext of birtherism: that the first African-American president must by definition be an “alien” and the product of a white-hating, “anti-colonialist” point of view, injected into the mainstream of U.S. politics by subterfuge. That first impression of Trump as a political figure was searing and enduring for voters who are intensely proud of Obama and what he represents.”
Sorry, Trump – We ALL Have Good Memories
African Americans will remember all of that, no matter how desperately Trump and his campaign continue their failing “black outreach.” Just like Hispanics will remember the wall he wants to build, and women will remember how cruel and dismissive Trump has been toward them, and people with disabilities will remember how Trump mocked the disabled, and Muslims will remember how he wants a religious test…
Basically, the only “outreach” Trump can conduct successfully is the outreach he has done since the day he glided down his own escalator, announced his candidacy, and quickly dismissed Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers – his outreach towards angry, white men.
And there just aren’t enough of them to put Trump into the White House.
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
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