Trump’s History of Racism Makes His Pitch to Black Voters Even More Desperate

Donald Trump continued his desperate pitch to black voters on Friday in Dimondale, Michigan, a city that’s population is 93 percent white.

At the Dimondale rally, and others like it in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump has emphasized his appeal to black voters and tried to sway the traditionally Democratic population.

In Michigan, Trump remained vague in his pitch, but maintained that he could support the black community better than the Democrats. He even took a sharp stab at Hillary Clinton by saying policies she supported had hurt black people the most.

Trump, a man who has held no political position before the 2016 election, stated his promises to black voters by saying, “Look how much African-American communities are suffering under Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?”

He continued, “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”

“I will produce for the African-Americans. And the Democrats will not produce. All they’ve done is taken advantage of your vote. If you keep voting for the same people, you will keep getting exactly the same result.” The candidate concluded.

Trump tries to pitch to black voters. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Trump delivers his pitch to gain favor with black voters.

Trump isn’t going after just a few black voters, he has a goal to receive 95 percent of the black vote. According to Huffington Post that number appears impossible considering Trump currently has around 1 percent of the black vote.

This speech in Dimondale marks a departure from Trump’s more scripted speeches in the last week. In Michigan he reverted back to his bombastic style with sweeping generalizations and only a light sampling of the truth, including his 58 percent unemployed youth statistic, which CNN has proven is mostly true, but misleading about the black community.

Trump pitches for black voters in a white town
Trump pitched to black voters while speaking in a town that is 93 percent white. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The 95 percent of black voters Trump is after seems even more impossible to attain considering Trump’s racist past. The presidential candidate has made well known, vitriolic comments about Mexicans and people of Middle Eastern descent in his campaign, but his statements about black people go back even further.

Fortune details Trump’s racist run ins with the black community going all the way to the 70s. In 1973, when Trump was just 26, the United States Department of Justice filed a discrimination complaint against the Trump family business for discriminatory renting practices in their buildings in Brooklyn and Queens.

In retaliation, Trump hired the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn to counter sue the government and accuse the organization of forcing landlords to rent to welfare recipients.

In the 70s welfare was, albeit incorrectly, intrinsically linked to the black community even though a higher percentage of white people received benefits. Trump is following that same line of logic in 2016, assuming most black people are on welfare and trying to pitch to a problem he assumes exists in a minority population.

Of course, Trump has had racial missteps in the last few decades that didn’t involve suing the federal government. In 1989, Trump put out 85,000 dollars worth of ads calling for the death penalty of black and Hispanic youths accused in the “Central Park jogger” rape case. It was later discovered that the young men were wrongly accused.

John O’Donnell, who wrote a book in 1991 detailing his time spent working for Donald Trump’s empire, quoted the candidate as saying the following.

“The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.. . . Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

This quote, and many others like it, are well known to the black voting population. Considering the disparaging remarks Trump has made over the years, his fundamental misunderstanding of the black and Hispanic population he’s trying to appeal to, and his generalizations about policies that don’t benefit black voters, the Republican candidate’s chances of gaining 95 percent of the black vote are slim at best.

[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]