For about a week now, since Donald Trump shook up his campaign leadership, the GOP nominee has spent large portions of his rally speeches pandering to African-American and Hispanic voters. While some have seen this as a legitimate attempt to reach out to minorities, others have noted that this is nothing more than a craven, ham-handed effort to win over moderate white voters who have been put off by the real estate mogul’s racist rhetoric.
It would be safe to say that New York Times columnist Charles Blow is in the latter camp. Over the past couple of days, Blow has used both his column space and appearances on CNN to deflate the argument that Trump is really engaging in an outreach to blacks. As he’s pointed out, Trump speaks about the black community in stereotypical, generalized ways, claiming they all are uneducated, poor, unemployed thugs who live in inner-city warzones, all while patronizingly asking them “what do you have to lose?” regarding voting for him.
During a Wednesday panel discussion on CNN’s New Day, Blow pretty much let everyone know he was out of fucks to give regarding this debate about the Trump campaign’s black outreach. While speaking to hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo, the NYT scribe said people need to stop calling it outreach.
“First, we have to stop calling this outreach to black people because it’s not… It’s an outreach to white people. Right? That’s all it is, and every time for the last 10 days people have been on television saying this is an outreach to black people, and that is a lie, and we all know that it’s just a lie.”
After the New Day hosts asked for clarification, Blow pointed out that what Trump is doing is actually worse than his normal dogwhistle remarks.
“It is a lie because it is the most insidious kind of bigotry. It is the kind of bigotry that says I will knock you down while I pretend to pick you up. It says that I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to the guy behind you or over your shoulder. It’s the kind of bigotry that says I’m urinating on you and telling you to dance in the rain. This is the most horrible kind of bigotry. And the fact that people keep asking the same question, particularly to black commentators like me, is he reaching out to black people — he is not reaching out to black people. There’s nothing about this appeal that has any resonance with anyone black that I can even find. I even looked at other, the largest black websites I that could find just to see if anybody was taking this seriously. Not a single person that I could find was taking it – only people taking it seriously is white people.”
Camerota wanted to know why Trump would be trying to reach out to certain white voters, feeling that he should already have that portion of the electorate wrapped up. Blow explained to her how that isn’t the case.
“No, he does not have the ones you were just talking about in your last segment. It is the moderate ones who say, I don’t want to be the woman, man who votes for the racist guy. And if this guy can now change his opinion, I do want to be a conservative, but I don’t want to be a conservative who votes for the racist guy. And now he’s different. Well, actually, he’s not different. He’s not talking to us. He’s pretending to talk to us as he talks to you. And this is an insult to all people of color, both black, Hispanic, and otherwise, because he is using us as pawns to get to you. You do not get an out. Know the guy was a bigot yesterday. He’s a bigot today. He will be a bigot tomorrow, and if you vote for him, you’re voting for a bigot. That’s it.”
And that is exactly it. Trump is already dead in the water with black and Hispanic voters. All the recent polls show him polling in the low 20s with Hispanics and single digits with African-Americans. He’s not going to bring any of them to his side now, not after calling Mexicans rapists, promising to build a wall, demanding President Obama produce his birth certificate and college transcript records and the dozens of other bigoted remarks and actions he’s made.
However, as those same polls have shown over the past month or so, ever since Hillary Clinton started pulling away and building her lead, Trump is doing worse with white voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012. His strategy all along was to increase the white vote share (Romney won 59% of whites) to overcome the increasing number of minority voters, most of whom would vote Democratic. However, by pushing a white nationalist platform, he’s not only forever alienated minorities, but also the college-educated whites who don’t want to be associated with a racist candidate.
So now, he’s saying the things he thinks these voters want to hear. He’ll talk about blacks and Hispanics in condescending and demeaning ways while claiming he wants to help them because this is how many suburban-dwelling white folks who claim they aren’t racist speak about minorities. As long as he can give some lip service to black ‘issues’ he feels that should prove he’s not outwardly racist. just the more socially acceptable form.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters: