WASHINGTON, Aug. 26, 2016 — Hillary Clinton delivered a speech last week designed to expose a dark conspiracy. She said that “a paranoid fringe” burning with “racial resentment” has taken control of the Republican Party.
“This is not Republicanism as we have known it,” said Clinton in Reno, Nevada. She claimed that her Republican rival, Donald Trump, brought this unholy brood into the GOP’s big tent using “race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas … all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’”
Trump’s initial reaction to Clinton’s speech was similar to that of most Americans: “What’s the Alt-Right?”
Republicans tend to cower when the race card is played. But Trump is made of sterner stuff. He dismissed the charge the way a man brushes lint off his shoulder.
He called Clinton’s smear of America’s vast, never-Hillary electorate “the oldest play in the Democratic playbook” and “the last refuge of the discredited Democratic politician.”
Hillary Clinton is a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” said Trump to a rally in Jackson, Mississippi.
The Democratic Party has failed and betrayed the African-American community. Democratic crime policies, education policies and economic policies have produced only more crime, more broken homes and more poverty than we’ve ever had in those communities before.
Nearly four in ten African-American children live in poverty. 58 percent of African-American youth are not working. More than 2,700 people have been shot in Chicago since the beginning of this year alone. Violent crime has risen 17 percent.
And in America’s fifty largest cities, it’s only going one way, folks, and that’s up. Homicides are up nearly fifty percent in Washington, D.C. And more than sixty percent from last year in Baltimore. The Democratic Party has taken the votes of African Americans totally for granted. And they have done nothing in return.
In January, the Baltimore Sun noted that their “city has not had a mayor from the Grand Old Party since Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin in 1967, and as of this writing, no Republican has entered the field of candidates for the 2016 municipal election.”
The same newspaper also reported that more than 90 percent of homicide victims in 2015 “were boys or men, more than 90 percent were black, and more than half were between the ages of 18 and 30—reflecting an urban reality that residents and civil rights activists say is devoid of legitimate job opportunities and caught up in the often-violent drug trade.”
Trump reminded black voters that Democratic political machines have run many of America’s dying cities “for fifty, seventy, eighty, even over a hundred years. And look what you have right now: poverty, no education, crime. You can’t walk down the street with your child … Hillary Clinton has no remorse.”
In 1932, 75 percent of black voters were registered Republicans. Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt employed graft dispensed through New Deal programs to dramatically reverse that number by 1936, even though he refused to sign anti-lynching legislation into law and gladly signed a racially-tinged executive order forcing Japanese Americans into internment camps.
“If you keep voting for the same people, you will keep getting the same horrible results,” said Trump.
And Trump’s words resonated with an unlikely source. Quanell X, leader of the New Black Panther Party chapter of Houston told Houston’s Fox affiliate,
We may not like the vessel that said what he [Trump] said, but I ask us [African-Americans] to truly examine what he said. Because it is a fact that for fifty-four years we have been voting for the Democratic Party like no other race in America.
We as black people have to reexamine the relationship, where we are being pimped like prostitutes. And they’re [the Democrats] are big pimps, pimping us politically, promising us everything and we get nothing in return. We’ve got to step back now as black people and say we’ve got to look at all the parties and vote our best interest.
Trump has scattered the race-card deck, proving that American politics makes for strange bedfellows.
In 2008, the New Black Panthers stationed two uniformed members, one wielding a baton, outside a polling station in Philadelphia. Charges of voter intimidation were later dropped by President Obama’s Justice Department. That’s a decision Democrats may come to regret should the Party answer Trump’s call for poll watchers.