It seems to me that saying “what do you have to lose” is a sign you have run out of arguments in an attempt to persuade someone. And that is exactly where GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is with black voters.
On Friday Trump tried to reach out to African-American voters, as only Trump can do, while speaking to a largely white crowd in Michigan. And that was his pitch. He said,
“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?”
Apparently thinking he was onto something that would help him lift his support among African-Americans from the dismal two percent he has now, Trump repeated the question at a Monday rally in Akron, Ohio.
Of course, not all black voters are living in poverty, not all schools attended by black students are bad, and once again Trump drastically overstated the unemployment rate for black teens (it’s actually somewhere between 25-30 percent). The candidate’s depiction of all black Americans living in squalor, without jobs, and being poorly prepared for society by the school system (I thought he said he loved the “poorly educated”) has not set well with many members of the African-American community, as CNN found out.
CNN reporter Gary Tuchman visited some black voters who live in a community not far from where Trump’s Akron rally took place. Most of them were not very happy about the candidate’s remarks about poverty and schools, particularly considering he continues to conduct an “outreach” to minority voters while talking to white people. Tuchman says that many community members he talked to feel that Trump is racially stereotyping them.
Tuchman talks to a number of residents of West Akron and almost all of them indicate they are opposed to Trump. The report highlights a 22-year-old woman who has recently opened her own boutique and the principal of a relatively new school where some 90 percent of students are black.
Residents also tell Tuchman they believe Trump is afraid to visit black communities. When Tuchman asks one woman why she thinks that is, she responds without hesitation. “Because we’ll tell him the truth,” she says.
Even the GOP-friendly Wall Street Journal is criticizing Trump’s pathetic attempt to woo minority voters. They describe how the candidate has been asked by supporters to speak at black colleges, black churches, or the NAACP. In each instance, he has refused.
Derek McCoy, a black conservative from Maryland, had this to say:
“It can come across as disingenuous. It’s good to let your donors and your supporters know that you’re trying to reach out. At the same time, the way that you reach out to African-Americans is go to some communities in Chicago or Detroit. Perhaps you need to visit Flint or some communities that are hard hit.”
Trump is doing something that many members of the minority community despise — he is saying what he thinks black people should do while talking to white people. In his twisted mind, that is called “outreach.” But it’s obvious from the polls and Gary Tuchman’s interviews that the overwhelming majority of black voters are smarter than he thinks they are.
Here is Gary Tuchman’s report, via CNN:
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 23, 2016
Featured image via video screen capture