Editorial

EDITORIAL: Trump’s Turn to Black Voters

President Donald Trump’s claims that the “fake news media” dislikes him, treats him unfairly and even “hates” him are being tested, beginning Wednesday in the House of Representatives at a historic impeachment hearing to determine Trump’s honesty and veracity regarding his alleged attempt to influence a foreign government for his own personal gain.

Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing and even called the investigation a political “lynching” — a characterization that insulted many Black Americans. Yet, he hopes to influence African-American voters to support him in the upcoming 2020 elections by hammering them with his repeated assertions that he has done more for them than any other president in the history of America short of Abraham Lincoln.

At press conferences, rallies and any place where the subject of the Black vote is raised, Trump repeatedly asserts his achievements on behalf of Black Americans, including criminal justice reform and the lowest Black unemployment rate “ever,” he says, and then repeats, “ever!” A few Black religious leaders invited to meet with him at the White House, and a crowd calling themselves Black Americans for Trump that met last week in Atlanta were evidence enough for Trump to believe, “we are doing very well with African Americans.”

“I think a big factor,” Trump asserted, “is the fact that they’re [African Americans] having the best economic year they’ve ever had in the history of our country.”

The more Trump says it, the more he believes it. Meanwhile, his assertions have been analyzed and fact-checked by the media, economic researchers and civil rights organizations who conclude Trump’s policies have been more harmful than helpful to Black Americans.

At the Atlanta rally, Trump chastised Democrats for not wanting to help Black Americans, while saying he wants to invest in Black American communities. Under his administration, he said, “Black Americans are forgotten no longer.”

Trump is asking his Black supporters to recruit Blacks to the Republican Party and Black voters to support his reelection. The problem, though, is Trump will allow his lips to say anything, while Black Republicans, and especially those who support Trump, only speak to themselves.

The test of his sincerity may not be vetted in this week’s impeachment hearings but his honesty and ability to tell the truth will.

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