Saturday, September 03, 2016

Is Trump Really Reaching Out To The Black Community ?

(This cartoon image is by Dana Summers for the Tribune Content Agency.)

Donald Trump will be making an outreach to the Black community by appearing at an African-American church in Detroit on Saturday. At least, that is how the Trump campaign (and many in the media) are phrasing it.

I have to wonder though -- is this really an outreach to the Black community? If Trump wanted to really reach out to Blacks, he would hold an open rally in the Black areas of Detroit and several other cities, and let those who attend question him on his policies. But that is not what is happening.

Trump will be attending one church, and after speaking for only a few minutes, will take questions from a Black pastor (Bishop Wayne T. Jackson) -- questions that must be submitted in advance to the Trump campaign. Those questions have been submitted, and Trump's handlers have been scripting answers to them for him. In addition, And the media is barred from attending.

That doesn't sound like an outreach to me. It looks more like a public relations opportunity. A PR move not designed to reach out to Blacks, but to convince Whites that he is not racist. While Trump is leading among Whites, it is not by enough to win the election. College-educated Whites (who have historically voted Republican in the past) are supporting Hillary Clinton this year. Trump cannot get these voters back on board the GOP bandwagon without convincing them he is not a racist or bigot -- and that is what this faux outreach in Detroit is really about.

It won't work though. This kind of move might impress his teabagger base (many of whom are racist themselves), but it won't fool the college-educated (White or otherwise). Trump seems to think all voters are as stupid as those in his base, and can be easily manipulated. He will find out that is not true in November.

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