Eugene Robinson, columnist for the Washington Post and contributor to MSNBC’s Morning Joe, pushed back on Joe Scarborough’s claim this morning that Donald Trump is better off trying to reach out to minority communities than continuing with his scorched earth campaign to win on a small, “angry” portion of the electorate.
The premise, Robinson asserted, is a false one: If Trump really wanted to reach out to black voters, why hasn’t he accepted the numerous invitations he’s received over the course of this campaign to speak to black voters directly, and to minority and civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists, whose convention (co-hosted with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists) Trump skipped just two weeks ago.
“Your lives are miserable! You live in hell! What do you have to lose!” Robinson said, mocking Trump’s style. “Clearly, he’s talking to white voters… in the suburbs in Philadelphia, in the suburbs of Washington D.C., and he’s trying to say ‘Look, I care about African Americans, too, in my own totally inappropriate, insulting, and condescending way. I care about them, so I’m not a racist and therefore you can vote for me.”
Trump has made a few speeches in which he addresses his awful deficit with minority voters, but his actions speak much louder than his words: He recently hired far-far-right media executive Stephen Bannon to lead his campaign, which released an advertisement last week that makes immigrants look like an invading swarm of sub-humans, and he continues to parrot an incorrect unemployment statistic about African American youth, wildly inflating the number by counting full-time students and other groups justifiably out of the labor force.
And that’s in the past month alone. Trump has a long, racist history: He was sued by Richard Nixon’s Justice Department for alleged housing discrimination (talk about a high bar to clear…), he took out a full-page newspaper ads in 1989 calling for the execution of the so-called “Central Park Five,” young teenagers who were later found to be completely innocent of the murder for which they were accused, and, just a year ago, he retweeted an phony image from a white supremacist website, spreading a lie about crime statistics. The link in Trump’s tweet has since been deleted (his tweet is still there), but here’s the image it linked to:
So, maybe a speech in a white suburb of Milwaukee isn’t going to cut it.