As Donald Trump’s erratic presidential campaign stumbles toward the November election buffeted by collapsing poll numbers, the candidate spent the past week chasing after voters who have shown the least amount of interest in casting votes for the blustery self-identified billionaire.
The African-American community.
With current polling often showing Trump standing at 1 percent with black voters in some states, Trump’s advocates have hit the cable shows attempting — and failing — to make the case that their man is on the “cutting edge of civil rights,” which has not been well received.
Friday night in Michigan, Trump himself attempted to rustle up some black votes — albeit in front of a predominately white audience — only to further inflame black sentiment against him with a cynical and condescending pitch that implied that all African-Americans live in abject poverty and whose lives could not get any worse.
“Look at how much African-American communities are suffering from Democratic control. To those I say the following: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?” Trump shouted at a crowd of his supporters. “You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed, what the hell do you have to lose?”
As noted by Philip Bump of the Washington Post, Trump’s appeal insults the millions of black voters who don’t live in poverty and who are well-informed enough to reject a Republican Party that is considered anti-minority — going so far as to attempt to suppress the back vote with onerous voter ID laws such as seen in North Carolina.
Trump’s “What the hell do you have to lose?” also rankled commenters on Twitter who saw his comment for what it was: an insult.
how would you feel if candidate asked for your vote this way? https://t.co/9ReoaiHE9O
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) August 20, 2016
I'd love to chat with Trump about how black people are all "living in poverty" but I can't decide which of my houses we should meet at.
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) August 19, 2016
Donald Trump believes black America has "nothing to lose" by casting its votes. He can't conjure a vast black middle class. Only stereotype.
— David Simon (@AoDespair) August 20, 2016
Trump asked for black votes tonight. A week ago, he was telling his supporters that America needed voter-ID. Okay. https://t.co/JDD0guxznP
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 20, 2016
"Your lives are utterly terrible so you might as well vote Trump" is a hell of pitch. https://t.co/bSUl0HrfKN
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) August 20, 2016
Hey Trump, you don’t talk to white people when you’re addressing the problems of black communities and people. Why not talk to them?
— Scott Knowles (@wsrphoto) August 20, 2016
Trump to Blacks: "What the hell do you have to lose?" Um, the right to vote? "How the GOP Gutted Voting Rights"
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) August 19, 2016
Trump's attempt to win the black vote: "C'mon what's the worst that can happen???"
— Paul Taylor II (@Ptaylor_78) August 20, 2016
What trump said about black people is another slap in the face! If you're black and vote for him you're dumb…
— Alicia Thomas (@Queen_Alicia15) August 20, 2016
Trump gave this "black ppl are trash & have nothing to lose, so y'all might as well vote for me" speech in a city that's 93% white?
— s.z. cissé (@Seynaboucisse_) August 20, 2016
So no amount of insults disguised as sympathy is going to get black people to sit in the colored car of the Trump Train.
— Justin (@_JGR) August 20, 2016
Trump said ALL of that like there aren't flourishing black communities & we all are ONLY living in poverty. Clearly HE has nothing to lose.
— Ororo Munroe (@puregr8nesss) August 20, 2016
Watch the video below via The Washington Post: