Donald Trump To Black Voters: "What Do You Have To Lose?" | Gradient

Donald Trump to black voters: “What do you have to lose?”


The newer, kinder Donald Trump is here and he’s every bit as repugnant as the old one.

“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?”

Let us set aside, for a moment, the ugly racism here, in which black America is put in the most convenient possible box, and Donald Trump pitches himself as an inevitably disappointing white knight. Let’s set aside the brush strokes here, which would be laughably broad if they weren’t so plainly racist. There is no metric by which Trump’s language here could be considered an approximation of reality.

Let us also set aside the fact that Trump’s question is far from rhetorical, as his party has explicitly worked to keep black people from voting this very year. Just for kicks, let’s also ignore the fact that Trump’s “58 percent” statistic is a baldfaced lie — the Bureau of Labor’s statistics puts the percentage of unemployed black youth at 27 percent.

Let us also set aside the “you” language here. We’ve long known that in Donald Trump’s world, white America is the “we” and everyone else else from immigrants, to Muslims, to Latinos, to gay people, to black Americans, is on the periphery.

And while we’re setting this aside, we might as well set aside the fact that Trump was speaking in a city that’s well over 90 percent white.

Those are huge problems, but they’re obvious. What’s not so obvious is that the rest of Trump’s trash claims about schools, jobs and poverty — while loosely based on a version of reality one could possibly construe by glancing at CNN chyrons — are also bullshit because America’s racial income and education gaps are tangible issues that require real solutions, not just abstract truisms that might, maybe improve if there was a different commander in chief. Most of Trump’s “policies” — like the wall, immigration screening and repealing Obamacare — at least pretend to have some vague solution, no matter how impossible the means. Here, Trump doesn’t even do black Americans the simple service of saying out loud what he intends to change. His appeal, if it can even be called that, is literally: “things can’t get any worse!”

But they can. Trump is, once again, pitching an insulting, apocalyptic vision of America with himself as the only savior. Only this time, he can’t even muster a decent alternative.

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To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit

Subscribe on iTunes.

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