I woke up to an NPR teaser informing me that Donald Trump is reaching out to African Americans. All over the media the last few days have appeared reports of a Trump Pivot -- a move towards a kinder, gentler Trump who is concerned about the plight of Black America. He is supposedly giving speeches (to white audiences) that he hopes will appeal to people of color.
The question breathlessly being asked of panels of experts and pundits is whether this will have any impact on African American voters.
It is absolutely crazy-making how the media continues to treat Trump like a normal candidate. He is not a normal candidate. He is not trying to appeal to African American voters. He is a fucking bigot.
Hillary Clinton fileted him today, calling him out for building "his campaign on prejudice and paranoia" for "taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties" and for being "a man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the internet."
Clinton provided a substantial and irrefutable bill of particulars:
- When Trump was getting his start in business, he was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black and Latino tenants.
- Three years later, the Justice Department took Trump back to court because he hadn’t changed.
- State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turn-over rate for his minority employees was way above average.
- Trump first gained political prominence leading the charge for the so-called “Birthers.”
- He promoted the racist lie that President Obama isn’t really an American citizen – part of a sustained effort to delegitimize America’s first black President.
- In 2015, Trump launched his own campaign for President with another racist lie. He described Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. And he accused the Mexican government of actively sending them across the border.
- We all remember when Trump said a distinguished federal judge born in Indiana couldn’t be trusted to do his job because, quote, “He’s a Mexican.”
- This is someone who retweets white supremacists online, like the user who goes by the name “white-genocide-TM.” Trump took this fringe bigot with a few dozen followers and spread his message to 11 million people.
- His campaign famously posted an anti-Semitic image – a Star of David imposed over a sea of dollar bills – that first appeared on a white supremacist website.
- The Trump campaign also selected a prominent white nationalist leader as a delegate in California. They only dropped him under pressure.
- When asked in a nationally televised interview whether he would disavow the support of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Trump wouldn’t do it. Only later, again under mounting pressure, did he backtrack.
- And when Trump was asked about anti-Semitic slurs and death threats coming from his supporters, he refused to condemn them.
- Through it all, he has continued pushing discredited conspiracy theories with racist undertones. Trump said thousands of American Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t.
Trump is not reaching out to African Americans -- he is condescending to them. And he couldn't give a shit about them or their vote. It should be obvious to any sentient being -- including those who get paid to report on politics -- that Trump is appealing to white moderate voters who might hesitate to vote for a mean-spirited racist fuck.
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