Tuesday, 30 August 2016 08:42

Trump not dreaming, seeks African American vote, solutions to crime

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Martin Luther KingMost political experts claim that Donald Trump has no chance at generating any black support in this presidential election. They point to polls showing Trump with 1-4% of the black vote, even lower than the 6% support GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received in the 2012 election.

In the Democrat primaries, Hillary won an overwhelming percentage of African American support throughout the South, which propelled her toward the nomination. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was so popular among African American voters that many considered him the “first black president.”

Despite Hillary’s apparent lock on the black vote, Donald Trump is tailoring plenty of campaign rhetoric directly to African Americans. In a well-received speech, he delivered outside of Milwaukee on August 16, Trump appealed to black voters directly. He said, “The African-American community has been taken for granted for decades by the Democratic Party. It’s time to break with the failures of the past – I want to offer Americans a new future.”

He also addressed the horrific crime problem impacting so many urban areas in the country. Trump noted that “The main victims of these riots are law-abiding African-American citizens living in these neighborhoods. It is their jobs, their homes, their schools and communities which will suffer as a result. There is no compassion in tolerating lawless conduct. Crime and violence is an attack on the poor, and will never be accepted in a Trump Administration.”

Of course, he is right as crime has surged in major metropolitan areas this year. When crime escalates in urban America, the black community suffers the most. Trump’s appeal for law and order should resonate with black voters who are sick of the crime in their neighborhoods.

The problems of urban America have only been growing in the 50+ years since the enactment of the Great Society programs. In that time, there were great promises from Democrat Party leaders, but very little improvement for African Americans.

Instead of prosperity, a long line of government programs has just delivered more misery and poverty. The unemployment rate for black Americans is more than double the rate for whites.  The poverty rate among blacks is approximately three times the rate for whites in this country. Incredibly, in Barack Obama’s America today, the net worth the average net worth of a black family is only $4,900, a mere 5% of the average among white families.

The statistics are shocking and show that the trillions of dollars spent to elevate black Americans from the ranks of the impoverished have not worked. Today, the poverty rate is approximately at the same level it was when the Great Society programs were initially launched.

There are many reasons for the failures of these liberal programs, but one major ingredient is the fact that only 27% of African American children grow up with both parents today. At the beginning of the Great Society, the percentages were completely reversed as only 27% grew up in a one parent household. Sadly, government programs incentivize one parent families, but the results are horrible. This lack of an intact family unit contributes to the high crime rate which destroys so many people in our urban areas today.  

These dire economic and crime conditions have created an opening for Donald Trump to make inroads among black voters. He is seizing the opportunity and will be speaking on Saturday to an African American audience in Detroit, Michigan.

His appeal may be working as he just received the endorsement of Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, the leader of the New Black Panther Party, Quanell X, said that African Americans should “truly examine what he (Donald Trump) said” in this August 16 speech. According to Quanell X, the Democrat Party has been “pimping us politically, promising us everything and giving us nothing in return. We’ve gotta step back now as black people and we’ve gotta look at all the parties.”

Trump is not like most other Republican candidates who would have ignored the black vote in this election. Obviously, he has a genuine concern for all Americans, regardless of race, and is sincerely asking black voters for their support.

The problem with most Republican candidates is that they never ask for the black vote and then lament their lack of black support. At least, Trump will be making an important first step that, hopefully, will be followed by other sincere appeals.

After years of black voters being taken for granted by the Democrat Party, this could be the perfect time for a Republican candidate like Donald Trump to crack that monolithic one party support.

It remains to be seen if a significant percentage of black voters will ultimately cast a ballot for Trump in November.  Nonetheless, it seems that at least some black voters are giving Trump credit for making an appeal for support directly to their community and will listen to his message. For Trump and the GOP, that is a step in the right direction. 


Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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