In his quest to gain black voters, Donald Trump appears to have listened to many of his critics – that he needs to speak directly to the people he’s trying to reach instead of majority white audiences.
Trump’s campaign released a statement stating he’s starting his outreach in Detroit to speak to the congregation at Bishop Wayne Jackson’s church and to take questions from him on his television network called ‘The Impact Network.’
Last night I asked Bishop Jackson what he wanted to hear from Donald Trump:
“I’m going to ask him about issues about jobs. We want to talk about Black Lives Matter. We want to talk to him about the police, law enforcement how that every African American, law abiding African American, we do support our law enforcers but there’s been some question about killings that we all concerned about as African Americans that black men have been shot down. We want to talk about jobs. So there are things, we are coming at him with real questions and we expect answers.”
And then I asked the Bishop this:
Lemon – “When he says what the hell do you have to lose, what do you say to that?”
Jackson – “(Laughs) well you know, that was a poorest choice of words.”
Lemon – “Well from that laugh you think it was a poor choice of words?”
Jackson – “Yeah, you know you can’t paint African Americans with one brush because we are not all the same and everybody is not living in the ghetto. And everybody’s not being shot every time they walk down the street but a part of our community they are but definitely that is not a good choice of words saying what the blank do you have to lose.”
New York Times columnist and CNN political commentator Charles Blow says he is not only curious about the questions Trump will be asked, but the substance of his response.
Trump says so far Trump’s approach so far has been derivative of “a kind of white savior syndrome that your life is horrible and let me fix it.”
Here’s what Charles wants to hear:
“How you have responded to the Black Lives Matter Movement which has been with some degree of hostility. How you responded to the unrest in Baltimore which has been with a tremendous of hostility. How he has responded to this particular president which is with tremendous amounts of hostility. His history of racial bias in some of his housing developments. All of these things have to be on the table in this particular interview because he has to address those and he has to make some sort of amends here that acknowledges that I was wrong and I apologize for that.”
Blow says anything short of that is the same old scenario of law and order which we already lived through from the 1994 Crime Bill.
And where did that get us -more people of color, especially young men of color behind bars from stiffer sentences for the same or similar crimes than their white counterparts.
Do we really want to relive that history again?