Laura Washington: Trump and Guv’s off-key song to Black America

SHARE Laura Washington: Trump and Guv’s off-key song to Black America

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. | Gerald Herbert/AP

Follow @MediaDervish

It’s a familiar tune.

“If African-Americans give Donald Trump a chance by giving me their vote, the result for them will be amazing,” the GOP presidential nominee exhorted in a speech Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C.

“Look at how badly things are going under decades of Democratic leadership — look at the schools, look at the 58 percent of young African-Americans not working.”

It’s that same old love song, one more shot at breaking up the most enduring marriage in American politics.

OPINION Follow @MediaDervish

Black voters are unfailing in their unflinching loyalty to Democrats.  In 2012, about 16 percent of African Americans identified as Republicans, according to polling data analyzed by  “Over the last 40 years black Americans have consistently voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic presidential candidate,” the web site reports.

Since 1968, the highest percentage of African-American votes any GOP presidential candidate received was 15 percent, won by Gerald Ford in 1976.

Now comes Trump, romancing that old stone.

“The African-American community has been taken for granted for decades and look how they are doing,” he said Tuesday at a Wisconsin rally. “The Democratic Party has failed and betrayed the African-American community.”

Indeed, the Democratic Party does not own black folks. Slavery was abolished 150 years ago. We might benefit from real, sincere competition for our votes.

However, when it comes to courting black voters, there are few suitors more unsuitable than Trump.

Trump was a leading man of the “birther” movement. He insisted that the first black president of the United States produce his birth certificate to prove he is “American.”

This is the presidential aspirant who has declined invitations to speak at the annual meetings of the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Association of Black Journalists, according to the New York Times.

In June, at a rally in California, Trump looked out at a sea of white faces, pointed at the darkest one, and declared, “Oh, look at my African-American over here. Look at him. Are you the greatest. You know what I’m talking about?”


Before I will be owned by Trump, I’ll go back into shackles.

“What do you have to lose by trying something new?” he asked in Charlotte.

Ask black voters in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Trump have much in common. Both are Republican, white wealthy businessmen. Both are bonafide political outsiders who promise an epic “turnaround” for black folks.

When he ran for governor in 2014, Rauner ginned up a hot and heavy romance with black folks. End the neglect you suffer at the hands of the “Chicago Democratic machine.” Try something new.

Rauner stumped in black churches. He lured a gaggle of endorsements from prominent black civic leaders and pastors.

He even deposited $1 million of his own cash at the South Side credit union, to help finance small business loans to black-owned companies.

Rauner won 7 percent of the black vote statewide, according to Real Clear Politics. His prominent black endorsers were rewarded with contracts and appointments to state boards and commissions.

Meanwhile, Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda includes demeaning Chicago’s public schools. He wants them to go bankrupt. He has likened the schools to “crumbling prisons” and called their teachers “virtually illiterate.”

Illinois’ ongoing budget stalemant and Rauner’s budget cuts have slashed social services, anti-violence initiatives, Medicaid, mental health services, education and other funds vital to African Americans.

No thanks, Messieurs Rauner and Trump.  Black folks have a ways to go before we get “tired of winning.”

Follow Laura Washington on Twitter: Follow @MediaDervish

Tweets by @MediaDervish

The Latest
As the Huskies’ Jordan Hawkins put it after blowing out Gonzaga in the Elite Eight, “UConn is back.”
Durbin made the endorsement Sunday, with former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White at his side, at Athena Restaurant on Halsted Street in Greektown, feet away from the saganaki flames.
Leading the parade down Halsted Street were the colorful, traditionally dressed dancers of the Perifania School of Hellenic Music and Dance, which has been marching in the parade for about a decade.
The Blackhawks are the latest NHL team to get in the middle of a controversy around Pride jerseys.
Two cars derailed, but no injuries were reported and no hazardous materials were released, a Canadian Pacific spokesperson said. The tracks were cleared in hours.