In the 2016 and 2020 elections, Donald Trump won a comically small percentage of the Black vote, with just 6% filling in the bubble next to his name the first time around and a similarly paltry 8% the second time. Obviously, there is not a section for comments on ballots, but if there were, the ones from many members of the Black community might as well have read, “Trump Sucks.” In 2024, though, the ex-president—a notorious bigot who tried to steal the last election by disenfranchising thousands of Black voters—thinks his fortunes are going to change. Why? Because according to the former guy, he and Black people now have something in common that they can bond over: They’re both victims of an unfair criminal justice system. 

Yes, as Axios noted on Tuesday, Trump is “pushing his mug shot, arrests and criminal charges to try to claim new solidarity with Black voters…latch[ing] on to a narrative…that his arrests could boost his standing among African Americans who believe the criminal justice system is unfair.” Obviously, the criminal justice system is unfair, and it’s been deeply unfair to the Black community. Trump, on the other hand, has spent literal decades benefiting from a two-tiered justice system that let him escape any and all consequences for his actions, and he does not like that, suddenly, for the first time in his 77 years on earth, he’s being held accountable. Naturally he’s now trying to exploit the situation, and per Axios, “his team believes he can make inroads with Black voters by pushing an I-am-a-victim-just-like-you storyline.” For instance, earlier this month, Trump claimed in an interview that his poll numbers with Black voters “have gone up four and five times” since his Georgia mug shot was released, which CNN subsequently reported was not true at all. (While it’s true that Trump is polling historically higher with Black voters, it is absolutely not by four or five times.)

Why might the Black community not want to vote for Trump in 2024, aside from his cynical attempt to claim his four indictments—for paying hush money to a porn star, allegedly mishandling classified documents, and attempting to overturn a free and fair election—have anything to do with their treatment by the criminal justice system? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that just a teeny, tiny list of examples of his long history of being a huge bigot toward Black people includes: 

  • Calling for the execution of five wrongly convicted Black and Latino teenagers;
  • Spearheading an entire movement around the lie that the country’s first Black president wasn’t born in the United States;
  • Telling four congresswoman of color to “go back” to the “totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” despite the fact that three quarters of those women “came from” the US;
  • Describing Baltimore, whose population is majority Black, as a “disgusting, rat- and rodent-infested mess” where “no human being” would “want to live”;
  • Pardoning a guy a US Department of Justice expert said oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling by a law enforcement agency in US history;
  • Throwing an absolute shit fit over the removal of a statue of a Confederate general who thought Black people should be white people’s property, and insisting said general was one of the greatest military leaders of all time;
  • This anecdote from Maggie Haberman’s book, Confidence Man, via CNN: “In the late 1990s, after Trump divorced Marla Maples, he had a relationship with a model, Kara Young, who was the daughter of a Black mother and white father. Haberman writes that after meeting Young’s parents, Trump told her she had gotten her beauty from her mother and intelligence ‘from her dad, the white side.’ Trump laughed as he said it, Haberman writes. Young told him it wasn’t something to joke about.”

Meanwhile, as Axios notes, Trump’s indictment in Fulton County “stem[s] from an alleged conspiracy in which Trump’s team sought to invalidate votes in heavily Black urban areas across the country after the election.” So, not exactly the friend to the Black community he claims to be.

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Republicans have found their new Benghazi


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