Friday, April 15, 2011

Donald Trump Loves "The Blacks".

I'm a black man who grew up in The (not so Deep) South, so I'm intimately familiar with the pejorative term "The Blacks". It's not too far removed from referring to black folks as "Negroes", "You People", "Coloreds", "Darkies", or "Flavor Flav's Kids" on the racial insult totem pole. Referring to a race of people as a single entity is probably the height of racial insensitivity.

That said, I always assumed "The Blacks" was a term that went out with the Reagan Administration. Except for the occasional Lisa Lampanelli standup comedy routine, I hadn't heard this term used in years.

Enter "The Donald"...
As he continues to mull a presidential bid, or say he is mulling a presidential bid, business mogul Donald Trump is lamenting the fact President Obama appears to have locked up the black vote. "I have a great relationship with the blacks," Trump told Albany's Talk Radio 1300 Thursday. "I've always had a great relationship with the blacks."

But Trump says it's a "very sad thing" such a high percentage of that demographic supports President Obama, for reasons, he believes, that are largely influenced by race. The discussion was spawned by a recent poll of New York voters that found 95 percent of black voters there approve of the president's job performance. The same poll found that the president's overall approval rating in New York stands at 54 percent.

"Look at Hillary Clinton," the reality television star continued in reference to the 2008 Democratic presidential primary race. "Hillary Clinton did so much for the black population, so much and got very few votes." "Look, I tell it like it is," he added. "Then you hear a political reporter go on and say, 'It had nothing to do with race.' But how come she got such a tiny piece of the vote. It's a very sad thing."
I'm not calling "The Donald" racist for trafficking in Birtherism, referring to any race as "The Blacks", and gainfully employing NeNe Leakes in the same calendar year. To some folks that's racist, to others that's merely giving "the people" what they want. Personally, I'm not even sure what qualifies as "racist" anymore. That unfunny guy who played Kramer used the N-Word repeatedly and even he isn't universally referred to as a racist. Mel Gibson spouted all sorts of anti Semitic babble and blamed it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.

Who's a guy got to lynch to be called a racist around here?!?

What's certain is that "The Donald" has officially crossed over from laughingstock to semi-credible candidate. Some GOP polls show him suddenly near the top of the primary pack. By tapping into the very racist sentiment of many "Real Americans"[1], Trump's vaulted himself into consideration for the GOP nomination, and has already stated the intention of running as an independent if that option falls through.

Make no mistake, this isn't about getting better ratings for The Apprentice. Trump's worth about $3B, the mere pittance he gets from NBC for that show is a drop in the proverbial bucket. This is about one man's oversized ego and lust for attention and approval.

Don't get it confused. The guy's a joke (so is his hairpiece) but he's here to stay.

Question: Is Donald Trump's "The Blacks" statement racist, or merely a poor choice of words? What do you make of the traction he's gained with GOP and Tea Party voters?

[1] Let's be clear, this isn't the exclusive province of the GOP. Hillary Clinton did essentially the same thing during the 08' Democratic primaries. Lets not get it confused.

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