Trump’s in­sult­ing out­reach to blacks

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Ed­ward H. Wal­ters, Bethesda

In one of the most ob­vi­ous non-se­quiturs in re­cent mem­ory, GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump has de­cided to seek votes in the African-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity (“Trump’s ‘war zone’ com­ment in­sults black vot­ers,” Aug. 29).

Of course, Mr. Trump has no real con­cern for or un­der­stand­ing of black is­sues, and his words re­flected that de­tach­ment. He made no dis­tinc­tions in the black com­mu­nity, paint­ing us all with one broad stoke.

Does any ra­tio­nal per­son think you can win the hearts and minds of peo­ple by telling them “you live in poverty, have no jobs, and your schools are no good?” And then, of course, there were the words des­tined to warm black souls for gen­er­a­tions to come: “What have you got to lose?”

While I have not con­ducted a sur­vey, I think it is safe to say the vast ma­jor­ity of blacks find his state­ments in­sult­ing and of­fen­sive. Ap­par­ently in Mr. Trump’s gilded world of pala­tial ho­tels and ex­clu­sive golf cour­ses he is not able see that some peo­ple of color are do­ing great things. On the other hand, if his only in­for­ma­tion comes from glimps­ing the nightly TV news, per­haps it is un­der­stand­able that he has such a neg­a­tive view of black peo­ple.

Ac­tual facts don’t seem to mat­ter to Mr. Trump. African-Amer­i­cans have achieved suc­cess in ev­ery facet of Amer­i­can life. We have prom­i­nent doc­tors, lawyers, sci­en­tists, artists, busi­ness­men, Olympians, and with Barack Obama we have also as­cended to the high­est of­fice in the land. Mr. Trump, with all his bil­lions, may not be able to match that.

Black peo­ple have come a long way over the last cen­tury in the strug­gle to gain op­por­tu­ni­ties and equal­ity, yet there is still much to be done. A sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of blacks haven’t been able to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties that ex­ist for them. Rather than rubbing our faces in what is wrong with our com­mu­nity, high­light­ing the suc­cesses of African-Amer­i­cans might have been a bet­ter ap­proach for Mr. Trump.

Don­ald Trump was a Demo­crat and ar­dent sup­porter of Hil­lary Clin­ton in 2008 but switched to the Repub­li­can Party when Pres­i­dent Barack Obama took of­fice. His at­tacks on the pres­i­dent via the birther move­ment thrust him into the po­lit­i­cal lime­light. It must be painful now for Mr. Trump to swal­low his ego and seek sup­port from the black com­mu­nity.

How­ever, I bet he is think­ing to him­self: “What have I got to lose?”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.