By Mariah Prister
Published: September 21st, 2016
In an awkward attempt to sway African American voters, Republican Presidential nominee and tanning advocate Donald Trump not only failed entirely, but also ended up insulting the entire race.
America can feel Election Day approaching rapidly and so can the candidates. It’s imperative for candidates to gain support from as many groups as possible. According to Public Policy Polling, Trump holds a zero percent favorability rating among African American voters.
Minority voters in particular are important to the election, as they make up one third of eligible voters in the United States. A research poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that the 2016 presidential voter pool is more diverse than ever, due to the increase of eligible voters in certain racial and ethnic groups. The poll also explains that while non-Hispanic whites make up most of the eligible voters with 156 million compared to the 70 million minority voters, they are not growing as much as minority groups.
With this information, it comes as no surprise that the presidential candidates want to connect with minorities and snatch those crucial votes. Recently, Trump has been trying to muster up support by speaking up about problems in black communities. Trump stated on twitter, “So many in the African-American community are doing so badly, poverty and crime way up, employment and jobs way down, look how bad it is getting!” Trump also said in another tweet. “How much more crime, how many more shootings, will it take for African-Americans and Latinos to vote Trump=SAFE!”
While speaking up about issues that affect minorities is a step in the right direction for a Republican candidate, it has also had an adverse effect. Misconceptions about African Americans are constantly being promoted in the media. These statements made by Trump give awareness to important issues but they also perpetuate negative stereotypes about the Black community.
“I’m asking for the vote of every African American citizen struggling in our country today, who wants a much different and better future.” Said Trump at his speech in Wisconsin. “The democratic party has failed the African American community. Democratic polices have only produced more crime, more broken homes, and more poverty.”
The GOP candidate tries to appeal to African American voters by claiming he can improve schools, poverty, and the economy in black communities while pointing the finger at past democrats who failed to fix these problems. But he does not give any blueprints on how he plans to carry out these changes in black communities. In fact, his entire campaign thus far has had a slight anti-black and anti-Hispanic undertone.
Last Thursday, protesters chained themselves to the doors of Trump Tower in disapproval of his comments regarding the deportation of illegal immigrants. In his speech in Phoenix, Trump preached a “no amnesty for illegal aliens” concept, meaning that there will be a zero tolerance policy for illegal immigrants in the United States. He also stated that he will “enforce all immigration laws,” making it easier for law enforcement to deport illegal immigrants. These comments came as a surprise and were made following Trump’s trip to Mexico where he met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
It is not enough that Trump is tweeting about issues that matter to the Black and Latino communities. Candidates shouldn’t treat problems that plague Black and Latino communities as slogans and punch lines for their campaign. These problems should be brought up with solutions. Trump has given no explanation on how he plans to help minorities. He has only sympathized with blacks and Latinos for the moment in a desperate attempt to gain their support.