On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "Weekends," two Black commentators — progressive podcaster Danielle Moodie-Mills and GOP strategist Shermichael Singleton — slammed President Donald Trump's attempt to win over African-American voters.
"What was going through your mind, Danielle, as you were watching the State of the Union?" asked host Alex Witt.
"I can't say that on national television, Alex," said Moodie-Mills. "I wasn't thrilled. I will say that. I think Trump is doing what he does, which is lie as much as he possibly can in order to get appeal from his base to, you know — I think this appeal to the African-American community is one that is just absolutely hollow. All you have to do is listen to the words that come out of Donald Trump's mouth and then follow that by looking at the actions that he has taken. Donald trump is a racist. 83 percent of African-Americans who have eyeballs are aware of that fact. So anybody who would decide after they have seen this over the past three and a half years, the actions that he has taken and want to vote for him? I don't know what to do with those people."
"He just gave the Congressional Medal of Freedom to a man who's a total and complete racist, and said some of the most vile things about the first African-American family," added Moodie-Mills. "So I don't think these are things they can look and get past and say 'his policies work for me' because they do not. There is nothing Donald Trump has done specifically for the Black community. He has talked about reputable members of Congress, attacked Black reporters. He is a terrible human being in general, but specifically for African-Americans, the question is what have you done for me lately or ever. Except Birtherism, attacked the Central Park Five, the list goes on and on, not allow Black people to rent in your buildings in the 1970s and had to be taken to court for that. The list goes on and on for offenses that Donald Trump has had against the Black community and Black people in general."
"I know you mentioned Rush Limbaugh," said Witt. "Expand more on that and what went through your mind when you saw it."
"I have to say that it was — it cheapens what the Congressional Medal of Freedom means," said Moodie-Mills. "There's nothing that Rush Limbaugh has done over his career other than preach hate and division and do so using the most homophobic, racist language possible. To award that man — especially in a room with Tuskegee Airmen — to award that man, of all people, the Congressional Medal of Freedom was an insult to anyone that has ever received it, anyone that has ever worked on behalf of trying to get more people free. It was so insulting and just a really sad, sad day."
"Personally, I don't feel one way or the other," said Singleton. "But I do think, from a messaging and marketing and engagement perspective, I think there is an opportunity for Democrats or Democratic-leaning organizations to take that moment and then show various moments over the past several years of Rush Limbaugh making controversial and racial and sexist statements in key places to turn out not only African-Americans and other minority groups, but also engage the white suburban women you mentioned."