Last week Donald J. Trump, the present reigning champ of white male mediocrity, continued to benefit from the media’s bigotry of low expectations. Trump was largely celebrated for expressing “regret” over some of the offensive statements he’s made since the start of his presidential campaign. Of course, noting regret is not the same as an actual apology—a point only magnified by Trump’s unwillingness to be specific as to which comments he regrets uttering, opting instead to tout himself as a truth teller in defiance of political correctness.
Beyond that Canal Street version of actual remorse, what also stuck out about the Trump presser was his direct appeal to black voters. “If African Americans give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing,” the Republican presidential nominee claimed in a scripted speech Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. After reciting a few statistics without proper context to illustrate how Democrats have failed black people in America, Trump went on to ask, “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”
Considering Trump’s varied history of racism aimed squarely at “the blacks,” such a question was more or less the political equivalent of asking folks, if they boiled a package of chicken wings three weeks past the marked expiration date, what’s the worst that could happen? Even so, the pageantry did remind me of the GOP's recent call to Trump to reach out to black voters.
In fact, the Republican National Committee has hired three new Negroes to aid in such efforts. One of them, Ashley Bell, told NBCBLK: "My job is to make sure those coalition directors have a focus on engaging the black community and that our candidates have the right message to deliver to the black community.”
What can Bell and Co. tell black people about a candidate who is more or less David Duke if he grew up wealthy and went into real estate? What can Bell and Co. tell their fellow Republicans? Mind you, Republicans not only created the conditions through which Trump managed to seize power but have also further enabled him by promising to support the nominee no matter how bigoted he relentlessly shows himself to be. I don’t want to see black folks lose jobs, so I'm here to help—even if it comes across as Satan’s work.
The team doesn't want my advice, but I’m going to give it to them anyway.
And update your résumé. Why? The GOP claims to care about black voters but then refuses to do little things like reinstate the Voting Rights Act and proceeds to nominate someone like Donald J. Trump for president. The very same day Trump made an appeal to black voters in front of yet another predominantly white crowd, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama—someone Trump considered for his running mate—did a radio interview and claimed that Trump’s 1989 campaign to bring back the death penalty in New York for the Central Park Five proves that Trump is serious about “law and order.”
"Trump has always been this way," Sessions said to WAPI radio in Alabama. "People say he wasn't a conservative, but he bought an ad 20 years ago in the New York Times calling for the death penalty. How many people in New York, that liberal bastion, were willing to do something like that?"
Problem here is that all five men convicted—four of them black and one Latino—were ultimately exonerated. Sessions proved something, all right: that Trump is loud, wrong and racist. Meanwhile, the RNC blacks should probably have their boss, Chairman Reince Preibus, send Sessions an email with the subject, “Why you bringing up old s—t?” I’d tell them to do it, but Sessions seems like the type to segregate his inbox.
Might as well join us in watching Frank Ocean build a staircase with music in the background. How come? Did you not read suggestion No. 1? Black people ain’t about to pay y’all any mind this election.
Do not deprive your black relatives of the sordid details about working with the RNC to get black folks to vote for Trump and other Republicans in 2016. Take all the notes. Don’t skimp on details. It might earn you a spot on the adult table, since I assume that most older black folks will likely not want to sit with a Republican on a holiday.
Listen, if you believe in small government, lower taxes and other tenets of conservatism, gold star for you and whatnot. However, you’re working with the RNC, which is working with Donald Trump, who is working with Steve Bannon, he who runs the ultraracist website Breitbart.
In a Bloomberg Business profile of Bannon, writer Joshua Green said: “Bannon is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, the crusading right-wing populist website that’s a lineal descendant of the Drudge Report (its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, spent years apprenticing with Matt Drudge) and a haven for people who think Fox News is too polite and restrained.”
Fox News is too polite and restrained? So that means Fox News is soft-core Ku Klux Klan porn and Breitbart is the hard-core stuff. Again, he is running the campaign of the GOP nominee for president. This is not your year to win blacks over.
I mean, I’m assuming she’s doing one. I can’t imagine she’s Trump’s director of African-American outreach for no reason other than a potential come-up. You’ve already sunk this low. Might as well go one step further.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.