Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Not Here To Entertain You

Donald Trump's Traveling Medicine Show For Black America Featuring Sean Hannity is in Cleveland today, and as The Grio's Brian Bush reminds us, the packaging of black grief for absolution consumption by white audiences is snake oil for everyone involved.

So as the circus that is the Trump campaign makes a stop in Cleveland, what, exactly, could Donald Trump hope to possibly communicate during this interview with Hannity? After all, his rise to political prominence came as a result of overtly racist talking points and “Alt-right” fervor. His arena-filling rallies over the past year have been little more than public gathering spaces for white supremacists, and hotbeds of violence against protesters. 
Should, then, Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort be enough to convince black voters that he is the candidate best able to address “African-American concerns?” 
His track-record suggests no, and he can’t wheel out enough black faces to convince me otherwise. Simply put, the Trump campaign’s recent push to secure black votes is absurd.

It always has been about selling Trump as White Savior not to black America, but to white America. The problem is Trump's past is so awful that nobody believes him.  But he sure is selling the notion that he's forgiven, because after all if Trump and the GOP are absolved of their guilt on race, it because the fault of black America alone.

Speaking last month to a predominantly white crowd in Dimondale, Michigan, Donald Trump boldly asked “What the hell do you have to lose,” going on to use inaccurate statistics to paint a dystopian portrait of black America. The question posed was odd for a few reasons. 
First, because the audience present was mostly all white, and the question itself was directed towards black voters. More odd, though, was the fact that the person asking the question seemed to ignore his own past of discrimination; the very type of discriminatory views that helped create the environment he now criticizes. 
In 1973 while Donald Trump served as the president of his father’s real estate company, the Trump Management Corporation, the Department of Justice sued the company for violating the Fair Housing Act, alleging racial discrimination against potential black renters in several of the Trumps’ buildings. While Donald and his father ultimately settled the lawsuit without having to admit guilt, the suit alleged that the Trumps quoted different rental conditions and terms to black renters seeking housing than to white renters, and lied to black rental candidates about apartments not being available. In fact, just a few short years later, the Justice Department sued the Trump company again for the same reason. 
Recognizing that, it’s hard to believe Donald Trump when he now says that he’s concerned with issues facing black Americans. The disparities in education and employment that exist now are a result of the same racist attitudes Donald Trump helped perpetuate. 
While Trump was allegedly keeping black tenants out of his buildings, an employer a few blocks away was likely denying an applicant because of the color of his skin. Both worked in concert to create inner-city communities with few economic opportunities, and crumbling, underfunded schools for black children. Trump, more than most, has played a direct role in preserving the structure of white supremacy. Even if his data is a bit off (things aren’t as bad as he makes them seem), Donald Trump is objectively one of the many architects of a system that has worked to disadvantage black people for many years. 
And he’s done a poor job during his campaign to change my perception. 
Trotting out black preachers in order to ingratiate himself with black Americans has hardly worked to refurbish his image. Not because of their religious affiliation, but because they have been so willing to lie about the most basic things.

But lie they will, because lies sell very well in the game of forgiveness.  And it's all right there on FOX News.

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