Monday, September 05, 2016

"Donald Trump Does Detroit" by NYT editorialist Charles Blow

So, after weeks of preaching his sinister sermon of black pathology to mostly white audiences as part of his utterly fake “black outreach” — which is in fact the effort of a bigot to disguise his bigotry — Donald Trump finally brought his message before a few mostly black audiences.

He spoke Friday to a handful of African-Americans in North Philadelphia, and as described on philly.com, told them that “he is not a bigot, and blamed the media for portraying him that way, according to people who attended a private event.”

No sir, stop right there. We are not going to allow any deflection or redefining of words here. You are a bigot. That is not a media narrative or a fairy tale. That is an absolute truth. No one manufactured your bigotry; you manifested it.

You have proudly brandished your abrasiveness, and now you want to whine and moan about your own abrasions. Not this day. Not the next day. Not ever. You will never shake the essence of yourself. Your soul is dark, your character corrupt. You are a reprobate and a charlatan who has ridden a wave of intolerance to its crest.

You were a chief birther against President Obama. You have maligned Mexicans and slandered Muslims. You have treated women with disdain. You have mocked the handicapped. You have displayed a staggering lack of basic knowledge about governance. You have applauded dictators. You have encouraged the assault of protesters at your rallies.

You are a prime example of the worst of humanity. You are what happens when incuriosity meets intolerance.

You are not to be praised for your fourth quarter outreach, but reviled for it, because it contains contempt, not contrition Trump wants to demonstrate to white moderates that he’s not a dyed-in-the-wool racist and to demonstrate to his base that he’s unafraid to walk through the valley of the shadow.

Then on Saturday, Trump traveled to Detroit and visited with a church congregation, or at least with a fraction of that congregation, judging from an image of the nearly empty venue.

Before Trump read his remarks, he said, “I just wrote this the other day knowing that I would be here, and I mean it from the heart he said, “I just wrote this the other day knowing that I would be here, and I mean it from the heart.”

That’s the first thing that sounded like a lie. The New York Times reported last week that Trump’s advisers had gotten the questions Trump was supposed to answer during an interview in Detroit and prepared a script for him. What makes us think that they didn’t also write his pandering speech?

He told the gathering, “Our nation is too divided,” while not acknowledging that he is a principle source of that division. He said: “We talk past each other, not to each other. Those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what is going on.” And yet he never acknowledged that until now, when his poll numbers have dipped and worrisome numbers of people said they believed he appeals to racism and bigotry, he has avoided coming into the black community like one might avoid the plague.

The speech was feather-light on policy, but what was there was just repackaged Republican claptrap that reinforced negative perceptions about liberalism and blackness.
 

Trump said, “I believe we need a civil rights agenda of our time, one that ensures the rights to a great education and the right to live in safety and in peace and to have a really, really great job, a good-paying job, and one that you love to go to every morning.”

Translation: I want to further weaken public education through more charters and vouchers. I want to flood your neighborhoods with more police because you can’t control yourselves. I want you to stop freeloading, get off welfare, and get a job.

Everything about this spectacle was offensive: that a black pastor had invited this money changer into the temple to defile it; that Trump was once again using the objects of his aggression for a last-ditch photo-op; that news media continue to call this an “outreach to black voters,” when it’s clearly not.

Trump has no real chance in Detroit, and he knows it. During this year’s Michigan primary, Trump got just 1,679 of the total 132,602 votes cast in the city of Detroit.

But again, the citizens of Detroit — or black people in general — are not the intended audience for this pageant of perversity. You can’t earnestly court the black vote while at the same time your party is enacting laws in multiple states to suppress the black vote. The whole thing is a logical fallacy.

Trump closed his speech in Detroit by quoting a passage from First John, Chapter 4 in the Bible: “No one has ever seen God but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

I too would like to close by quoting a passage from 1 John 4: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Everything about Trump reads to me as false, and I hope that on Election Day, America exercises the gift of discernment.

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