At a rally in Dimondale, Michigan on August 19, 2016, Donald Trump vowed:
“And at the end of four years, I guarantee you that I will get over 95 percent of the African-American vote. I promise you. Because I will produce.”
Unfortunately, that same day, Sean P. Jackson, the head of the Black Republican Caucus of Florida, expressed a different opinion in a conversation with The Miami New Times:
“Mr. Trump really does have a sincere, passionate interest in black outreach, but his campaign staff has dropped the ball. That all starts with Karen Giorno. She has repeatedly failed at embracing blacks across the state.”
Jackson also related that Karen Giorno, Trump’s Florida campaign manager, denied him permission to stay backstage during a recent rally in that state, and afterward told him that Trump didn’t need black votes.
“The crazy part about it is that the Secret Service had already cleared me to be back there, and yet she made a scene and claimed that she didn’t know who I was.”
According to recent NBC News poll, Trump has eight percent support among black voters. However, Time magazine reports that various other polls show that between one and six percent black support him. This news is not surprising, given that since 1964, at least 80 percent of black voters have chosen the Democrats in Presidential elections. Ostensibly, this is the result of Martin Luther King Jr. successfully pressuring Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson to take up the cause of civil rights and the Ku Klux Klan encouraging Dixiecrats who felt betrayed to vote Republican, enabling the GOP to maintain a stronghold in the South ever since.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why it is highly unlikely that a majority of black voters will opt for Trump. Trump’s father Frederick Christ Trump, a real estate developer, refused to rent apartments at buildings he owned to black people, and so did Donald Trump when he took control of the family business in the early 1970s. In fact, in 1973 the U.S. Department of Justice sued Donald Trump for violating the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Trump has also been observed casually making disparaging remarks at the expense of black people behind closed doors. In Trumped: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall, a 1991 tell-all book by former Trump Plaza executive John O’Donnell, Trump is shown speaking of a black finance employee:
“Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.
“Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And that’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything that they can control… Don’t you agree?”
When asked about O’Donnell’s revelations in an interview with Playboy after Trumped was published, the Donald replied:
“The stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”
In 1989, Trump paid $85,000 for advertising space in the New York Times, the New York Daily News and two other newspapers in that city calling for the execution of the Central Park Five, a group of teenagers consisting of four blacks and one Hispanic who were accused of the rape and attempted murder of a 28-year-old white woman.
Even more alarming, Donald Trump has received endorsements from white supremacists like David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who served as a Republican Louisiana State Representative and Andrew Anglin, the editor of The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi publication, but has not distanced himself from them. In November 2015, Trump said of Mercutio Southall Jr., a black protester who was attacked after disrupting his speech at a campaign rally:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”
Most recently, Trump chose former Breitbart News boss Stephen Bannon as his campaign chairman. In addition to being known for tossing out slurs at the expense of non-whites, immigrants and women during conference calls involving Breitbart staff, Bannon has been widely rebuked for turning Breitbart.com into what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls “the media arm of the alt-right.”
With Donald Trump’s behavior and decisions indicating contempt for black people and alienating black voters in droves, how can anybody take him seriously when he says he will get 95% of the black vote in 2020, assuming he will even win in 2016?