President Donald Trump has triggered a barrage of controversies over his racist behavior over the previous weeks, from telling four progressive Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to other countries, to saying that House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rodent and rat infested mess.”
To hear it from the Trump team, however, the time is ripe for an attempt to court black voters. On Saturday, Politico reported that the president’s 2020 campaign is preparing a push to highlight minority unemployment, the passage of the FIRST STEP act to reduce incarceration, and the creation of “Opportunity Zones” in low-income areas as reasons why the black community should support Trump. Presumably, the much longer list of the president’s anti-civil rights policies will go unsung as part of this campaign.
Already, Trump’s efforts to win over black voters, which have mistrusted Republicans for decades, have been met with skepticism.
“The idea is that, because of his agenda, his comments on Charlottesville, Baltimore or shithole countries do not matter,” said former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, the first black man to serve in that role and a longtime critic of the president. “Or that you can say the most racist things in the world, but hey, I got a tax cut. Or you can disparage my homeland, but the unemployment rate is going down.”
“My guess is that it is mostly a waste of time,” said Harvard African American studies professor Jennifer Hochschild. “Latinos are much more potentially movable into the Republican column.”
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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Echoes and Defends Trump’s Racist Attacks on His ‘Infested’ Hometown of Baltimore
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, has finally responded to President Donald Trump‘s racist attacks on his hometown of Baltimore, where he formerly served as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Trump also has been attacking Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, whose district covers part of that city. Cummings is neither the mayor of Baltimore nor the governor of Maryland, but Baltimore does sit in the United States, of which Trump is president.
Secretary Carson, the only Black member of Trump’s cabinet, echoed and defended his boss’ racist remarks, saying as a physician he hesitated to send his child patients back to their “infested” neighborhoods.
“As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I spent many hours, sometimes operating all night long, trying to give children of Baltimore and other places around the world a second chance at life. And usually we were successful,” Carson told Fox News host Tucker Carlson Monday, as The Washington Post reports.
Fox News showed Carson in front of a photo of the famous Lincoln Memorial, with the late president brightly lit up. They then quickly inserted video of an abandoned building in Baltimore, one that could easily exist in nearly any city in America.
“But a few days later, I was in a horrible dilemma, because some of those kids had to go back into homes in East Baltimore that were infested with rats and roaches and ticks and mold and lead and violence,” Carson said. “And I didn’t want to send them back. Sometimes I would even consider, you know, extra tests so they could stay in the hospital an extra day or two.”
“But now, fortunately, God’s given me a chance to do something about it,” he added, as Carlson looked confused.
Carson falsely claimed that because unemployment for Black Americans has declined, and because Trump signed a prison reform bill into law he cannot be considered racist.
“All these things are happening, these are not things a person who is a racist would do,” Dr. Carson insisted.
He is, in fact, wrong.
Carlson insisted that 65% of all children in Baltimore are growing up in single family homes. Carson and Carlson agreed that that must be somehow remedied in order to improve circumstances in Baltimore.
Meanwhile, here’s how Trump uses the word “infested,” as Slate’s Will Saletan notes:
To folks who are asking whether Trump also calls white areas “infested,” here’s what a search of his account shows:
3 uses against black lawmakers (Lewis, Cummings)
1 use against Omar/Tlaib/AOC/Pressley (“go back”)
1 against sanctuary cities
1 against Africa (Ebola)
— Will Saletan (@saletan) July 27, 2019
Watch Secretary Carson’s remarks:
#RacistInChief: Trump Expands Racist Attacks in to a Racist War With Vile Unprovoked Attack on Al Sharpton
President Donald Trump has escalated his racist attacks – which he ramped up starting several weeks ago with lies against four Democratic Congresswomen, all people of color – into attacks on a Black U.S. Congressman, the revered Rep. Elijah Cummings, and followed that up Monday morning with an unprovoked attack on MSNBC host and longtime civil rights activist Al Sharpton.
Trump’s attack on Sharpton expands his assault on people of color into a full-fledged race war.
“I have known Al for 25 years,” Trump tweeted. “Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He “loved Trump!” He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”
I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He “loved Trump!” He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops! https://t.co/ZwPZa0FWfN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
This appears to be the first time Trump has tweeted a Black person, or any person, “Hates Whites.”
But that phrase makes it even more clear President Donald Trump is a white supremacist.
Trump went on to attack Sharpton again, less than an hour later.
Al Sharpton would always ask me to go to his events. He would say, “it’s a personal favor to me.” Seldom, but sometimes, I would go. It was fine. He came to my office in T.T. during the presidential campaign to apologize for the way he was talking about me. Just a conman at work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2019
Many on social media expressed outrage.
CNN’s Keith Boykin made this salient observation:
Trump speaks on:
Al Sharpton: conman
Elijah Cummings: racist
Ilhan Omar: racist
Maxine Waters: low IQ
John Lewis: all talk
black countries: shitholes
black athletes: SOBs
Black tenants: unwelcome
Black workers: lazy
Central Park 5: guilty
Nazis: very fine people
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) July 29, 2019
Trump’s attacks are fueling hashtags like #RacistInChief, #RacistPresident
Here he goes attacking another person of color. How predictable.
No, Rev. Sharpton doesn’t “hate whites and cops.” This is some more racist garbage from a man whose job is to unite Americans, not stoke racial animus for political gain.
— Jacob Baum 🏳️🌈✡️ (@JacobAndrewBaum) July 29, 2019
— Chris (@ChristineCSE) July 29, 2019
Trump is deliberately trying to divide us into camps that can’t work together to defeat him; trying to stoke distrust between black people & white people, because that’s what racists do.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 29, 2019
— Leslie Stephens (@lelstephens) July 29, 2019
Trump going after Al Sharpton @TheRevAl today with racist tweets is nothing new. Rev Al has been attacked by white supremacists for decades. A few racist Trump tweets won’t bother him. But still I Stand with Al Sharpton and I hope others will as well! pic.twitter.com/ZDJHujjFuF
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) July 29, 2019
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