Donald Trump has gone where no Republican presidential candidate has gone in any meaningful way; addressing African-Americans directly and often in their communities. Although the Hillary campaign pooh poohs such questions about their black vote in Tuesday’s election, it has changed dramatically.
It is not that the Trump campaign is going to restart the Republican disdain in the African-American community, but he is attempting to provide a future of real hope and change. Many in the urban areas are disappointed in the eight-years of an Obama administration and the nation’s first “black” president. What Trump is trying to convey is they have been betrayed by a complacent Democratic Party that assumes blacks will overwhelmingly and automatically vote for their party.
On Sunday, September 18th, an astounding event took place at the Men’s Day program hosted at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, DC. None other than Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan said to President Barack Obama, “Your people are suffering and dying in the streets,” of Chicago, and “you failed to do what should have been done.”
One could have heard a pin drop after such a dynamic voice in the black community actually called the “black” president out on his policies towards their community. Farrakhan continued by saying it is time to let Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump do “what he wants to because he is not destroying your legacy.”
The shocked congregation was hearing something entirely new to their way of thinking since the Civil Rights Act of 1965; reconsider your thinking.
Farrakhan said, “So you Democrats, you been in their party a long time. Answer me, what did you get? You got a president. He is worried about his legacy. You want Hillary to get in to protect your legacy because Trump said the minute he gets in, he is going to reverse the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Because that is your signature achievement. To show you how hateful the enemy is, he hates that you achieve what you did achieve. So he said I’m going to tear it up when I get in. So he don’t want his legacy destroyed. Mr. President, let the man do, if he get in, what he wants to because he is not destroying your legacy. If your legacy is bound up in an Affordable Care Act that only affects a few million people and they are trying to make it really difficult for those of us who signed up, that’s not your legacy.”
His words resounded throughout the church with many “amens” and applause. It was an historic moment in the presidential campaign. At least one black leader was not going to rubber stamp another Democrat for the presidency.
Farrakhan continued, “But I just want to tell you, Mr. President, you’re from Chicago, and so am I. I go out in the streets with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. And while I was out there talking to them, they said ‘You know, Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’ There’s your legacy, Mr. President. It’s in the streets with your suffering people, Mr. President. And If you can’t go and see about them, then don’t worry about your legacy ’cause the white people that you served so well, they’ll preserve your legacy. The hell they will. But you didn’t earn your legacy with us. We put you there. You fought for the rights of gay people. You fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets! That’s where your legacy is. Now you failed to do what should have been done.”
On Election Day this Tuesday, the Hillary people will be carefully watching the percentages. It appears this time around, they will for the first time in many decades, be looking at African-American turnout wondering how much this new attitude affects their “rubber stamp” black base.