Politics

Trump Uses Dwyane Wade's Family Tragedy to Pander to Black Voters

August 27th 2016

By:
Aron Macarow

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ratcheted up his pitch to black voters Saturday morning, and it isn't going over well.

Following the announcement that Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was shot and killed while pushing a stroller on Chicago's South Side, Trump took to Twitter in a strange appeal to black voters, suggesting that the crime was a reason for black voters to join his campaign.

People were quick to point out that Trump had initially misspelled the athlete's first name.

But that wasn't all that Twitter had to say on the matter.

This isn't the first time that Trump has attempted to address Chicago's violence and gain votes from the black community.

The candidate has pointed the finger at everyone, from the city's police department to President Barack Obama, for the rising number of shootings in the city, but without offering any policy solutions to address epidemic gun violence, according to the Chicago Tribune

For instance, during his speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump commented:

"In the president's hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office. Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration's rollback of criminal enforcement."

But when asked to address how he would stem the tide of violence, however, his answers were a lot less specific.

"How? By being very much tougher than they are right now. They're right now not tough. I could tell you this very long and quite boring story. But when I was in Chicago, I got to meet a couple of very top police. I said, 'How do you stop this? How do you stop this? If you were put in charge — to a specific person — do you think you could stop it?' He said, 'Mr. Trump, I'd be able to stop it in one week.' And I believed him 100 percent," Trump told Bill O'Reilly during an August 22 interview on "The O'Reilly Factor."

This isn't Trump's first failed attempt to court black voters either.

The GOP presidential hopeful has made a string of bizarre statements about black Americans and why they should vote for him in recent weeks as he struggles to gain the black community's vote, talking about everything from gun violence to unemployment.

"What the hell do you have to lose?" Trump asked black and Hispanic voters at a campaign rally earlier this month in Akron, Ohio, speaking about violent crime in minority communities, which he suggested that only his presidency could solve.

The candidate added, "We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without being shot. Right now, you walk down the street, you get shot. Look at the statistics. We'll straighten it out."

Trump echoed these statements just a week earlier in Michigan, where he told black voters that they were impoverished and jobless — and again, that only his presidency could fix their situation:

"What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose? You’re living in poverty; your schools are no good; you have no jobs; 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?"

Not surprisingly, his tactics aren't working.

Despite his statements, a recent poll shows that Trump has the support of 0 percent of black voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two key battleground states, and only 5 percent of black voters on the national stage.

One reason why he has such low support? It could be that Trump's pitch needs work.

Perhaps if the Republican presidential candidate talked about the dwindling number of detectives in Chicago and its relationship to violent crime instead of relying in generalizations about violence in minority communities and about black voters, he might increase his support in the black community.