Trump’s outreach to Blacks in Atlanta - GulfToday

Trump’s outreach to Blacks in Atlanta


Donald Trump. File

Donald Trump, who waits to be the official Republican presidential candidate for 2024, has had an easy run in the primaries, and he has been equally successful on the presidential campaign trail. There has however been a fluctuation in the popularity ratings compared to incumbent Democrat President Joe Biden.

Trump had been ahead of Biden for months now, but Biden seems to be gaining ground. It is at this juncture that Trump scored a point when he walked into a Black fast-food centre, Chick-fil-A, in Atlanta on Wednesday and had a splendid photo opportunity with young Black conservatives.

That this should be happening in Atlanta, which has been a bastion of Black protests for civil rights and Black civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr, gains in significance. Of course, this was no spontaneous encounter between Trump and the young Black conservatives. It was carefully planned by Trump’s campaign managers both in Atlanta and at the national level. Trump was on his way to a fund-raiser in another part of Atlanta when he stopped at Chick-fil-A.

The Blacks in America have been generally Democrat voters. There has been a significant rise in Black Republicans as well, both among the leaders as well as the voters. But Trump has been identified with the rural whites, and the white workers in the urban areas. He has not been opposed to the Blacks as much as he has not wooed them with any great enthusiasm. But he and his political advisers have changed the strategy. Many of the Blacks are unhappy with Biden for many reasons, including the economy and also Biden’s stand on the war in Gaza.

The Blacks stand to the left end of the political spectrum in the Democratic Party, and Biden’s cautious foreign policy stance has alienated from the Left and progressive wing in his party. But Biden’s approval ratings among Blacks have improved. In February only 25 per cent of Black Americans approved Biden’s presidential record, but in March it moved to 55 per cent, while 45 per cent still disapproved his record in office.

Michealah Montgomery, a conservative activist in Atlanta and founder of Conserve the Culture, said, “People find it so hard to believe that there are young Black people who would have loved the opportunity to meet Trump…It’s really disheartening to see that the media makes it seem like we just stumbled into a Chick-fil-A and he bought us milkshakes…They are claiming that the students made a mockery of their institutions and saying they are disrespecting their ancestors. It is really, really bad.”

There was the predictable reaction from the Biden side to Trump’s rendezvous with the young Blacks. Jasmine Harris, spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, said in a statement: “Thinking Black voters relate to Donald Trump because he spent twenty minutes handing out freebies at a fast food restaurant is yet another insult to our intelligence – and perfect example of just how disingenuous Trump’s outreach to Black voters continues to be.”

It has already happened and it will continue to happen that Black Americans will not belong to one end of politics. Over time, there will be strong conservatives among them as can be seen in the case of Blacks in Republican administrations like Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who went on to succeed Powell as Secretary of State. But given the economic and social discrimination that still persists in American society, most Blacks will remain at the left end of the American political spectrum. The general reading is that Blacks, Latinos who are not too happy with Biden will stay home on voting day, but they will not vote for Trump.


Related articles