Let's get something straight here: when Republicans say they are reaching out to people of color, specifically black voters, what they are actually doing is pitching to nervous white voters what white Republicans think black people should be doing, and then blaming "evil racist Democrats" as to why black people aren't doing it (because what black America needs is white America telling us how to live, if only we were open-minded enough to listen to them.) There's no better example recently than this column in the New York Post by "gun advocate" John Lott.
Hillary Clinton claims that some of Donald Trump’s appeal is “xenophobic, racist, misogynistic.” On Thursday she asked, “If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?”
But who actually cares more about blacks, in particular poor blacks?
On everything from education to jobs to crime, Trump’s policies offer a lifeline to people who have been losing ground for decades. Hillary’s policies will just exacerbate them. And no amount of speeches will change that.
On education, Trump strongly supports school choice. This would give inner-city blacks a way out of horribly performing public schools. Clinton attacks charters and clearly opposes other forms of school choice, opting to protect teachers unions at the expense of students.
And who’s harmed the most by illegal immigration? Who’s most likely to suffer unemployment or wage reductions due to the added competition? Young, unskilled blacks and Hispanics. The biggest beneficiaries? Wealthy people who get to pay less for lawn care and housecleaning.
But crime is the immediate, life-and-death issue for so many blacks and Hispanics trapped in high-crime urban areas. Too many come to physical harm, have their property stolen, or lose their jobs as businesses are driven from their neighborhoods.
Clinton seems more focused on helping criminals rather than their victims. She has promised to cut the US prison population by over 50 percent. By contrast, Trump says the problem is a lack of police in high-crime, heavily black areas. He believes in making things riskier for the criminals, not for the victims.
Clinton has responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by calling for more restrictions on police use of deadly force. She has refused to support stiff prison penalties for those who “knowingly caus[e] bodily injury” to police officers. But if you don’t believe that the police are the problem, making their jobs more dangerous or difficult means police will be less effective in stopping crime in these high-crime areas.
Clinton doesn’t understand that the most likely victims of violent crime — poor blacks living in high-crime, urban neighborhoods — are the ones who stand to benefit the most from being able to defend themselves, and in fact her gun-control plan basically amounts to letting whites get guns but not minorities.
There's so much to unpack here that I'll need an army of logistics experts and perhaps some sort of advanced gravity manipulation device and two or three TARDIS consultants from Gallifrey, but the "GOP black outreach" scam usually involves massive gaslighting of the black experience so that the failure of Republicans to convince black voters to vote for them is the fault of black voters rejecting a "clearly better" series of initiatives rather than Republicans being at any fault whatsoever, and it's exactly what white voters want to hear.
In other words, GOP outreach for black voters is actually aimed at fence-sitting white voters, making them feel better about voting Republican. "It's not your fault those people can't see the truth as to why Republican policy initiatives are so great. You're smarter than that, but they haven't had the luxury of being as politically informed as you are."
So Republicans create this alternate reality where the problems of black America have nothing to do with generations of systematic social, economic, and cultural oppression, and everything to do with lack of taking personal responsibility in the greatest country on Earth. Poor black people living in Detroit or Chicago and shooting each other must be 100% actively making the choice to continue living in a place like that and not taking steps to improve their lives, because the second you start putting cracks in that picture you start asking questions about why systemic racism issues still exist in 2016, and Republican can't have that.
In other words, there has to be a reason other than racism where 95% of black America refuses to give the GOP the time of day, and it has to be something they can blame us for rather than the people trying to convince us to vote for them. Sometimes that "reason" is we're unwitting, uneducated dupes of a Democratic party conspiracy meant to keep us compliant victims, and that we need to be pitied. Sometimes that "reason" is we're angry and violent, or that we're just simply not as intelligent. But in every instance that reason cannot be because racism against black people in the United States still exists.
And so we get gaslighting admonishments from clever men like Lott here, who tells us that black America would be great if we just did things suburban white Republicans do, like push for charter schools, immigration reform, and more guns. That would solve our problems, because then we'd be suburban Republicans too and not ghetto Democrats.
Trump's entire campaign has been built on this, guys. And once we get a Republican who embraces this like Trump has and isn't a self-destructive narcissist disaster like Trump is, America is in real trouble.