Black voters aren’t falling for Trump’s pandering

Being the ever-menacing carnival barker that he is, former president Trump said the four criminal cases he faces have garnered him significant support from Black voters. Why? He claims due to the historic injustices Black Americans have endured at the hands of the criminal justice system, they can identify with his legal dilemma.

“I think that’s why the Black people are so much on my side now because they see what’s happening to me happens to them. Does that make sense?” Trump said at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbia, S.C. During his speech, he further commented that Black voters had warmed to him “because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing.”

Continuing his barrage of dishonest and racially offensive rhetoric, he stated, “The lights are so bright in my eyes that I can’t see too many people out there.” To laughter from the audience, Trump continued: “But I can only see the Black ones. I can’t see any white ones. You see?”

“That’s how far I’ve come,” he added as the crowd cheered. “That’s how far I’ve come. That’s a long—that’s a long way, isn’t it?”

Trump and a few members of his immediate family have been accused of racially inflammatory remarks and behavior. The Justice Department sued him in 1977 for discriminating against potential Black tenants. He was taken to task for stoking racial tension when he purchased newspaper ads in the New York Times in the late 1980s urging the state to adopt the death penalty after the rape of a jogger in Central Park, a crime wrongly blamed on five Black and Latino teenagers. It is also important to note he has never apologized to these young men who lost more than a decade of their lives to such a gross injustice of the criminal justice system.

By the way, let’s not forget how he arrogantly and shamelessly engineered racial animus toward President Obama by becoming an ardent proponent of the so-called birther movement, which falsely promoted the lie Obama was not a legitimate American citizen. Later, at a news conference at the grand opening of one his hotels, Trump was forced to acknowledge to the many journalists in attendance that “Barack Obama was born in the United States.”

To be honest, much of the mainstream media deserved to be sucker punched for disingenuously embracing such nonsense.

Trump continues to revert to and engage in xenophobic foolishness toward people of color by continuing to aggressively pronounce Obama’s middle name, “Hussein,” and refer to Nikki Haley as Nimrata Randhawa when he mentions both individuals on the campaign trail. And he has continued to question whether political opponents are eligible to hold office, in particular former governor and ambassador Haley.

Trump appeals to the most vile and base instincts of his supporters, who often embrace offensive stereotypes that have been traditionally ascribed to Black Americans. It’s not an accident – Trump is very astute that such scurrilous and intellectually dishonest rhetoric appeals to his far-right MAGA supporters, which is considerably, if not predominantly, White Supremacist in their value system.

During his speech last week, Trump was surrounded by a few prominent Black leaders, including former Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson and Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds. He was also lauded by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican serving in the U.S. Senate. Thus, the specter and spirit of intellectual dishonesty was rampant.

Thankfully, Black voters don’t appear to be swayed by the nonsensical rhetoric and pandering coming from Trump, a rabid race-baiter cynically trying to garner votes. Painting all Black people as criminals certainly didn’t help, especially as Trump himself faces four criminal indictments and the specter of prison.

Elwood Watson is a professor of history, Black studies, and gender and sexuality studies. He is also an author and public speaker.