If he has his way, Donald Trump may have laid the groundwork for a race riot right by Red Lobster.
Apparently, organizers have been calling “every day,” though there is a bit of a discrepancy over how interested the Apollo is in allowing him the space to hold a rally featuring a bevy of paler folks with an allure for those who like to make aesthetic statements with white foods. One described insider said, “They don’t want him there,” while another claimed, “The two parties may have talked, but no deal has been announced.”
You know, Harlem may have changed, but racism is pretty consistent as far as consequences go.
I remember casually strolling along 125th Street one day and asking myself, “Where did all of the white people come from?” No shade, white folks. I had just never seen that many of y’all in Harlem. The next day, I learned that Amy Schumer had been recording a comedy special at the Apollo, which ultimately aired this time last year. Schumer fans are one thing, but when it comes to supporters of a hate-mongering man who looks like the lovechild of Fanta and Benito Mussolini, can we not?
Trump supporters remind me of a few things: Mama’s Family, business-casual bigotry, misspelled signs and “Heil Hitler!” Needless to say, you pile that into Harlem and all I see happening is white people with signs about Obama arguing with Black Israelites while someone eventually pulls out his phone and yells, “WorldStar!” And lots and lots of NYPD, which can be fearful for anyone who doesn’t look like they belong at a Trump rally.
Why exactly would Trump want to hold a rally in Harlem? At this point in the campaign, “the Blacks,” as he affectionately calls us, know what his deal is. He has four black friends: Ben Carson, Omarosa, Diamond and Silk. Zora Neale Hurston already settled the matter with them: “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk.”
As for his “black outreach,” which one presumes would be the basis of his Apollo rally, we’ve already heard his shtick. We’re living in the slums of the inner city, where, as soon as we step outside, we duck bullets because we’re our own suicide squad. We’re all dancing energetically across, below or right on the poverty line. When it comes to our schools, they’re falling apart brick by brick, and students have had to burn the books left over from Reconstruction to stay warm because the heat went out and Booger from Good Times never fixed it.
Like, we get that we’re poor, black and ugly, Trump, and honestly, the lines were performed better by Mister in The Color Purple. Then again, Trump’s black outreach was always for white women anyway.
Just this week, Trump professed a desire to improve conditions for blacks and Hispanics. And yet, days before that, during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, Trump had this to say to supporters: “So important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us. We do not want this election stolen.”
What does that rotten, carrot-colored man mean? Translation: THE BLACKS ARE GOING TO STEAL THE ELECTION. THE BLACKS IN PHILADELPHIA SPECIFICALLY. THE BLACKS ARE GOING TO TAKE YOUR COUNTRY FROM YOU EVEN MORE THAN THEY ALREADY HAVE. DO NOT LET THE BLACKS DO IT.
No one genuinely interested in black voters would make these kinds of claims. That is why Trump needn’t bother coming to Harlem to hold a rally. He does not want to reach out to black people; he wants a spectacle. Of all the things to celebrate about the end of this election, one of the absolute best aspects will be being spared this buffoon speaking about black folks.
Trump does not care about us. He never has. I can’t wait until we get to the part where we go back to dropping pretenses suggesting otherwise. In the meantime, he and his fellow band of nitwits can stay out of Harlem.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.