Thursday, August 6, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He discussed race, as only he can.

This morning, in a discussion about diplomatic relations with Cuba, Joe Biden noted that the Latino community in the United States is much more politically diverse than the African-American community.

Factually, this is correct. Black Americans with a party preference favor Democrats over Republicans by 83% to 10%. By contrast, Hispanic Americans affiliate with Democrats over Republicans by 63% to 29%. Pointing out that as Biden did that, for example, Cuban-Americans tend to have different political views than Americans with family history in Mexico or Central America isn't really controversial.

Addressing reporters today, Trump claimed to take offense, although it wasn't clear if he knew what it was he was accusing Biden of:

So I just watched a clip.  And Joe Biden, this morning, totally disparaged and insulted the black community.  What he said is incredible.  And I don’t know what’s going on with him, but it was a very insulting statement he made.  And I guess you’ll figure that out.  You’ll see it in a little while.  But it was a great insult to the black community.

Trump's haziness may be because he was prompted to mention the issue by a staffer. His campaign is desperately trying to rehabilitate him with African-Americans, who may be the margin that delivers Texas and the election to Biden. Those efforts suffered a setback today when Facebook shut down a foreign "troll farm" of bot accounts posing as Black supporters of Trump. 

In other recent remarks on , Trump responded to a softball question asking about recently deceased civil rights hero John Lewis's legacy by complaining that Lewis didn't attend his inauguration. In the same interview he scoffed at the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sneering, "How has that worked out?" 

And his own campaign's lawyers were caught trying to secretly help Kanye West—whose wife, Kim Kardashian, is openly worried about his mental health—file as a presidential candidate in swing states, apparently in the belief that Black voters who support Biden will drop the opportunity to vote against Trump if a celebrity is on the ballot.

So what?

  • One way for a politician to improve his standing with people of color is to avoid being openly racist.