As an African American Southerner, hearing Donald Trump refer to black people as “the blacks” was no surprise to me. Just look at the guy. He is an egomaniac, driven by a desire to dominate the American stage whether in business, in the media or as “Ring Master” of the political arena. His statement reflects the racial separation within a society controlled by moguls like himself.
Did I just stereotype Trump? Perhaps those idealists reading this article do not buy into my race-based view of American society, shaped by 31 years’ experience as a black man in this country.
Having grown up in a public school system in Mississippi that was predominantly African American and that in the 1990’s had not yet instituted the spirit of Brown vs. Board of Education, I learned that access to wealth was dominated by people who look like Donald Trump. I also learned that who gets what from the political system was determined by the same Good Ol’ Boys club.
The 2008 election, however, changed life as we know it for the Donald and his cohorts. They had grown accustomed to having one of their own as Commander in Chief. The election of President Barack Obama changed that game, and Trump’s crowd is still struggling to recover.
“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” said Trump in a recent radio interview. Though believed to be able to cipher independent and maybe some Democratic votes from President Obama in the 2012 election, Trump continues to waste the opportunity as his grandiose posturing relates to no one other than the patrons of what he calls his “clubs.”
No surprise. I have heard Southern white men referencing courting the African American vote during election season as going to speak to “the blacks.” Trump is a New Yorker, perceived as one free of Southern social constraints, but he is acting like a desperate man grasping at ways to diminish the credibility of the first black president of a major world power.