During an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stated that African-Americans do not have health care or education, and that their lives are “a total catastrophe.”
Trump continued to say that “the African-American people have been mistreated and abused by Democratic politicians” through their control of local governments. However, Steven Rosenfeld argues for Alternet that as large employers continue to leave, not much revenue is left for public services such as schools. He adds that Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Trump supporter, was the top political boss in Milwaukee for a number of years and played a large role in the problems that continue to plague the city.
Trump, meanwhile, went on to claim that 40% of black Americans live in poverty, while 58% of young African-Americans are unable to find employment.
“The unemployment rate, everything is bad, no health care, no education, no anything and poverty is unbelievable … and then I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, vote for me. What do you have to lose? I can’t do any worse than what these people have been doing and I will do better,” said Trump.
When asked what he would do to help the black population in the country, Trump replied that he would “get jobs,” although he did not offer any elaboration on that statement. However, he did say that he would increase the “spirit” of African-Americans by being a “cheerleader” for them.
Meanwhile, Judd Legum writes for ThinkProgress that the majority of African-Americans in the country do in fact have jobs, health insurance, and do not actually live in poverty.
The Obama administration has worked continuously to make progress for the African-American population in the United States. This includes a decrease in the number of uninsured African-Americans between the ages of 18 and 64, as well as a drop in the percentage of unemployed black Americans.
Recent polls show Trump is lagging behind Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton among African-Americans by a margin of 92-2.
The public appeal made by Trump toward African-American voters may be part of a general election “pivot,” which is thought to include a reduction of his initial harsh stance toward immigration.
Throughout his campaign, Andry Ostroy writes for The Huffington Post that Trump has continually uttered remarks toward the black population that some have called racist. Since becoming the official Republican presidential candidate, Trump has referred to African-Americans as “the blacks,” pushed for violence against a black protester at a rally, offered to pay the legal fees for a white supporter who punched a black protester, and lied about knowing who former KKK leader David Duke was.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway recently appeared on ABC, thwarting claims that the appeal made by Trump toward African-Americans was insulting. Conway maintained that Trump’s comments toward black Americans were actually meant for all voters. “I live in a white community. I’m white. I was very moved by his comment,” she said.