Donald Trump likes to brag about his relationship with the African American community. He claims to have “a great relationship with the blacks.” However, the polls tell us otherwise. As of September, it appears Trump only has about 20 percent support from the that community. This is hardly a great relationship. There are many reasons why Trump struggles to win over black voters. The latest reason came from his comments in Kenansville, North Carolina.
In Kenansville, Trump delivered a typically rambling speech. He started by commenting on Hillary Clinton’s lack of foreign policy experience. Afterwards, he went on to discuss the black community. Needless to say, it wasn’t Trump’s finest moment. He said, “Our African American communities are in the worse shape they’ve ever been… Ever. Ever. Ever.” That is a rather radical statement to make. Thankfully, it is a statement that can easily be discounted by a single tweet. Someone under the name of Zeddonymouse wrote, “Implying ‘Black people had it better under slavery/Jim Crow’ is a central tenet to white supremacy. Trump’s signaling to racists ow 24/7.” In other words, you would have to be crazy to believe this is as bad as it has ever been for African Americans.
It is quite baffling to consider Trump’s statement. Does he really believe times were better 60 years ago when states were unleashing ferocious dogs and fire hoses on African Americans seeking equal treatment under the law? Does Trump simply not look at history books? Is he unaware of the history of our country? Defenders might say Trump was simply riffing. Trump loves to ramble, and he creates fantastic sentences like a jazz musician creates music. However, as entertaining as those sentences can sometimes be, shouldn’t he be held at least somewhat accountable for the messages within those sentences?
Let’s look at the facts. It was only as recently as 1967 that African Americans weren’t allowed to marry white people in seventeen states. It was the Supreme Court that put an end to that nonsense. How can that time period be something better than today’s world? Maybe Trump will also try to tell Americans Hitler was a swell guy.
Many people are saying Trump’s comments are a bit like a dog whistle for racists. Trump does not often overtly state racist things, but he comes awfully close. This is good enough for real racists. They know Trump is on their mental frequency, and they come flocking to support him. You can see this by observing his rallies. How many black faces do you see in the audience? Not many. However, you are certain to spy plenty of angry white faces. It just goes to show that many people believe America is divided by race, and some people actually do wish to return to era of segregated restaurants, water fountains, and buses.
Of course, we should also remember a few things. Many of the states that made the lives of African Americans miserable 60 years ago were once firmly controlled by Democrats. Also, many affluent whites currently seek to segregate their children from African American children under dubious crusades of privatizing public education. These folks would try to pass as enlightened liberals, but its seems that Trump’s racist dog whistle might be effectively calling them to battle as well. Many people don’t seem to be racists, but someone like Trump excels at drawing that part out of otherwise rational people. It’s downright frightening.
What do you think of all of this? Take the time to watch Trump’s speech in North Carolina below. Afterwards, let us know your thoughts!