Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Donald Trump's Great "Outreach" Plan: Calling Black Americans "Losers" in Order to Win Their Votes

Donald Trump has a great new outreach campaign to win over black voters. Beginning last week, Trump has hit on the great and novel idea that by insulting black folks that he will somehow win our support. As I wrote over at Salon, this is voter mobilization in the form of flagellation. 

To that end, Trump has said the following things about black Americans:
Tonight, I’m asking for the vote of every single African-American citizen in this country who wants to see a better future…What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump? You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?” 
He also told Fox News that African-Americans have “no health care, no education, no anything” and their lives are “a total catastrophe.” 
Of course, the real audience for such untruths and smears are his racist white base and the "decent" Republicans who prefer that their white supremacy be presented in a "polite" and "nice" way.

But, there is a useful question that arises from Donald Trump's "outreach" efforts and my/our response to them. In highlighting how Black America is not a living hell, and all of its citizens' lives are not a "total catastrophe," how do we also not ignore all of the specific challenges and work that remain to be done?

Working the racism beat and addressing the misery index of black and brown America is necessary and important work. How did we get into the conundrum where talking about successes and positive change can be looked at as a threat and risk to the former narrative, and how the black freedom struggle is a work in progress with no end goal in clear sight?

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