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The Trump Campaign Adds Black Voices to the Agenda

BY: PETRUCE JEAN-CHARLES

President Trump's new initiative seeks to attract more African American voters, but people are finding it ironic.

The "Black Voices for Trump" initiative launched in Atlanta to recruit African American supporters, but was mostly catered to Black conservatives.

"It almost becomes a habit, right? Like it's, ‘Oh, we vote for a Democrat.' Nobody knows why they vote for a Democrat," Trump said.

Trump insisted at the launch that under his administration, African Americans would "have been forgotten no longer."

According to the Pew Research Center, six percent of Black voters supported Trump in 2016 and has only gone up two percent since then. 

The Gallup said polling shows that African Americans maintain negative perspectives of the president's performance, with 1 in 10 approvals. Trump's campaign still insists that the president can gain more Black voters despite his various racially charged attacks.

In his four years, Trump has made comments about minority Congress members, "rodent-infested" Baltimore and was endorsed by a Ku Klux Klan leader after comments on Charlottesville protests.

Many African Americans support Trump and were at the launch like former state legislature Melvin Everson and Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece, Alveda King. 

Mackenzie Meadows, American University's Black Girls Vote president, said that Trump is only advocating for this campaign to gain numbers. Meadows shared that Black women are known for turning out to vote, so there are many Black women like Owens and Joy Villa who are trying to change how Black women vote.

According to Meadows, the new campaign was a ploy to "tap into that liberal in the streets, conservative in the sheets Black voter."

"At this time, Trump is attempting to take advantage of the divided voter," Meadows said. "While his numbers are relatively stagnant, as some previous supporters already have their dedication towards him secured, others are unsure what type of leader the American people are in need of, or, are former Trump supporters, dissatisfied with the president's current actions."

Meadows noted that the Black vote holds power because they are the demographic that is most divided. "As we're trying to figure out which democratic candidate will hold our best interests, at the same time Trump's initiative, is to provide another alternative to the Black voter other than the other candidates in blue." 

Living in Dallas, Texas, a half-red and half-blue city, Meadows has interacted with many Black republicans noting that they can be broken into subset categories of republican.

"Amongst Black republicans, it is somewhat the same as whites of the same party like neo-conservationists and alt-right," Meadows said. "However, continuing down the line, there are some subsets of the republican party that deals solely with the intersectionality between being Black and conservative."

Blexit founder, Candice Owens is focused on recruiting Black republicans for the 2020 election.

The Blexit movement was created in 2018 that encourages African Americans to abandon the Democratic Party and register as Republicans.

"Blexit is the Black exit from the Democratic Party. It's the Black exit from permanent victimhood, the Black exit from the false idea that we are somehow separate from the rest of America," Owen said in a Fox News interview.

Meadows has encountered Black republicans who believe and provide evidence that many don't support Trump just because of their political affiliation. "From the Black Republicans that I have had interactions with, they once again, play into this otherness mentality, often feeling rejected from or not the same as the mainstream Black community."

The Trump Administration has also launched campaigns for other underrepresented groups like women, Latino individuals and veterans in hopes to win votes.

Disclaimer: Mackenzie Meadows, president of American University's Black Girls Vote is a member if The Blackprint


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