Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made numerous and mostly frightening comments about “black-on-black” crime in Chicago.
And no matter how illogical he sounds, he continues to speak about violence in ways that only blame black people for problems rooted in white supremacy. This is what makes it incredibly odd that he wants the American people, including black people, to believe that he is the best person to end daily police violence against black communities (and apparently against ourselves).
He’s concerned so much about black people that he took a trip to Chicago Wednesday and decided to only talk to white people.
Despite railing against Chicago’s violence, Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, still traveled to the Windy City to pick up a campaign check. Ivanka headlined a cocktail reception in Chicago and an afternoon luncheon in Peoria. Then, on the same day, Trump attended a Bolingbrook luncheon. Trump supporters are expected to raise an estimated $2 million for the Trump campaign from the combined four stops in Illinois.
Trump also spent time stumping before about 200 Polish Americans at the Polish National Alliance on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
After all the talk of violence, chaos, and black suffering, (“black and Hispanic people are living in Hell”), Trump still has had nothing to say about us, our issues, or his solutions. To visit the very place that he has discussed as violent for black people and to ignore the entire community says a lot.
It’s because Trump doesn’t want to deal with the fact his campaign has the full support of white supremacist groups and affiliates throughout the country.
Trump doesn’t care about black people. His “law and order” pitch for African-American support was just confirmation.
His lilly-white Chicago trip wasn’t unexpected — it’s just what Trump and his campaign does.
In recent weeks, it has been quite common for Trump to discuss what he considers the ongoing gun-related violence occurring in the streets of Chicago, referring to it as a “war torn country.”
During Monday’s debate, Trump stated, “These are people that are bad people that shouldn’t be — when you have 3,000 shootings in Chicago from January 1st, when you have 4,000 people killed in Chicago by guns, from the beginning of the presidency of Barack Obama, his hometown, you have to have stop-and-frisk.”
Trump is advocating for stop-and-frisk as a solution.
Stop-and-frisk has never been an effective solution for community relations and has never led to positive change.
On the contrary, stop-and-frisk has always been a controversial practice leading to disproportionate stops of black and poor individuals — despite arrests minimally occurring. In 2013, in a case before the U.S. District Court of Manhattan, Judge Shira Scheindlin found that New York City were conducting unconstitutional stop and frisks on two bases: police officers were stopping unsuspecting people without reasonable suspicion, a requirement set forth in the groundbreaking Terry v. Ohio decision; and that there were disparities of the number of black and Hispanic people being stopped and frisked more than white individuals, which violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Ultimately Scheindlin concluded that New York City could continue its stop-and-frisk policy but it had to make changes for it to be constitutional. So while stop-and-frisk is technically legal in New York City — and throughout the country — Judge Scheindlin challenged, and rightfully so, the methods of its practice. And because Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his appeal, Scheindlin’s decision still stands.
It’s intriguing that Trump would uphold such disparately-applied policies as a necessary public good while simultaneously propelling himself to be change-agent for the black community.
Even Chicago, an area that Trump pretends to know, led New York City in its use of stop-and-frisk policies.
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released a report highlighting Chicago police were among the nation’s leaders in the controversial and discriminatory practice. Specifically, the report underscored “the use (and overuse) of the practice in Chicago, notes that the justification for such stops often fails to meet constitutional standards and makes recommendations for fixing CPD policies in order to curb abuses and restore community trust in the City.” To provide some numerical context, in Chicago, stops per resident totaled 93.6, while in New York City, the number reached its highest in 2011 with 22.9.
Even after weeks of awkwardly attending black churches in Detroit and Cleveland (looking at you, Don King) to increase his number of black voters, it’s obvious that Trump knows nothing about black people. It’s no surprise that Trump isn’t familiar with this factual information because he often “lives in his own reality.” But it does lead to the questions: with the continuous violence between police and black communities in-and-out of Chicago, why would Trump advocate stop-and-frisk as the standard; and further, why would he go to this alleged “war torn” city without speaking to any black people?
“We have to help them,” Trump said in a rally this week in Florida. “It’s unacceptable,” he continues. The “them” he is obviously referring to are black people, who apparently would be lost without his presidential and financially-savvy guidance. Trump has repeatedly used this language as an appeal to black people to elect him over Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Trump is calling for “law and order” — where police can have full authority over the lives of black people, no matter how anti-black laws and enforcement are — in this country. Black people have heard this rhetoric many times before, and we know what the dog whistle means. But if Trump is ever going to be serious about how black people perceive him, he may want to visit the cities he so problematically discusses and not just to pick up campaign checks.
It’s clear that Trump doesn’t care about black people, and he should probably quit talking to and about us.
Preston Mitchum is a Washington, DC-based writer, activist, and policy nerd. He has written for the Atlantic, The Root, Ebony.com, Huffington Post, Hello Beautiful, and Think Progress. Follow him on Twitter @PrestonMitchum to see just how much he appreciates intersectionality.