Melaninated: Donald Trump and the Black Vote

Donald Trump met with 100 Black pastors Monday in a private meeting held in his Trump Tower hotel in New York City. I, as a (legal) Black voter, don’t know whether to raise an eyebrow or be optimistic.

It’s voting season. It’s also the time of the year when retail revenue takes a surge with Black Friday and Christmas shopping madness. However, in the midst of the cheery holiday season of wreaths, wrapping paper and winter we should be just as mindful of the power behind voting.

You don’t have to be deep into politics to know “America’s prince charming”, Donald Trump, is running for commander-in-chief. You also don’t need to be deep into politics to know his campaign has operated less on facts and more on fame. So, when I read that Trump met the holy grail of Black people—no pun intended—I honestly became interested in what he had to say—for once.

Prior to the Monday meeting, Trump announced his endorsement from 100 Black pastors. Shortly afterwards, many of the pastors listed withdrew from the meeting and of their support of Trump after it became public. Social status suicide? Who knows. But I thought, “Would I want my pastor to be meeting with Donald Trump?” It’s not that I would be against it, but my main concern would be the meeting’s authenticity. Receiving a vote is one thing, but to act on the given promises that gained the trust of your voters is another.

After the cancellation, Trump’s press secretary announced he would be meeting with members of the Coalition of African American Ministers in a meeting closed off from the public and media. This is a man who has bashed groups of people publically in the most offensive ways.

Here’s my thing, I love President Barack Obama, but he does not speak for an entire race of Black Americans. He represents our entire country before he represents one race. But unfortunately there are those who cannot, no, choose not to differentiate.

100 Black ministers are voices from the Black community, but 100 minsters do not represent the entire race. It is why it’s important that we all show-up and vote so we don’t leave our concerns in the hands of few who have their own agendas.

One of the pastors in attendance was Dr. Darrell Scott, pastor of New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio. He helped to organize the meeting and has been one of the most vocal minstrel leaders who support Trump.

“We had meaningful dialogue and we voiced concerns that were sensitive to the African-American community. We asked questions and the questions were answered where we’re all satisfied with the answers and [on] a unified front right here….it was a great day,” said Scott.

Scott attempted to combat the negative depiction of Trump published by the “liberal media” by stating he never had any concerns begin with. As Omarosa, former The Apprentice contestant stood by his side and Trump nodding along as he spoke, I couldn’t help but think what exactly were these “concerns” expressed in this private meeting with satisfactory answers.

The media doesn’t depict anything that Donald Trump does not endorse himself. The media didn’t force him to say Mexican immigrants (or immigrants in general) will commit rapes, bring drugs and become killers once they step foot on American soil. The media didn’t force him to tweet a skewed infograhpic that highlighted Black on White crime at 94% (not at all true by the way).

A simple Google search will show that no such organization exists.

Donald Trump did not hear whispers of “racist” come 2015. In a timeline published on Vox, at 27-years-old Trump was sued by the Department of Justice for discrimination against Blacks when it was reported he violated the Fair Housing Act by refusing rentals to people of color. That happened in 1973.

As Black people, we shouldn’t see that if our pastors and religious leaders are okay with it than it should be instinctive for us to share those same sentiments. It’s no different than Killer Mike having lunch with Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders. As voters, we have to open our minds and ears even to those who we don’t agree with to understand why we don’t agree. Don’t ever feel you have to vote for Donald Trump because you’re pastor said he’s a good guy.

He may be a good guy to those who are expecting things in return. How do we know those concerns of the Black community addressed in were even addressed at all? Let’s not forget Trump refers to us as “the Blacks”.

In a 1989 NBC special, “The R.A.C.E” short for Racial Attitudes and Consciousness Exam, Trump made the comment:

A well-educated Black has an tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think a Black may think they don’t have an advantage or this and that. I’ve said on one occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated Black because I do believe they do have an actual advantage.

In a 2011 interview Trump said, “I have a great relationship with the Blacks, I’ve always had a great relationship with the Blacks.”

I guess adding “people” would have been unnecessary syllables.