Leave it to Donald Trump to stand in black church, before a somehow still overwhelmingly white audience, and promise to implement New York City’s racist, unconstitutional “Stop-and-Frisk” policing nationwide.
In the past week, Donald Trump has insulted an African American pastor who dared bring him back into line when he visited her church, used a cynical attempt to brush aside his years of race-baiting birtherism (a ploy that not even his fellow birthers actually bought) to promote his new hotel, and joked once again about assassinating Hillary Clinton. It was hard to imagine how he might top himself, but once again Trump proved it’s never a winning bet to assume he can’t go any lower.
On Tuesday, the same day that Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump stood before a rally less than 250 miles away in Kenansville, and again spoke of African Americans in disparaging, insulting terms. “We’re going to rebuild our inner cities because our African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever,” Trump said to thousands of supporters. He went on to say that predominantly black “inner cities” resembled war zones in places like Afghanistan. At that point Trump had barely addressed the back-to-back police-involved shooting deaths of Scott and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, except for a couple of tweets referring to both as tragic events.
At the time, I wondered if Trump would use his televised town hall at a black church in Cleveland, Ohio, to “stop talking about African Americans, or talking past us with faux ‘outreach’ that has more to do with reassuring anxious white voters that he’s not really racist?” Would Donald Trump finally address the problem of inherent racism in the way our communities are policed? Would he address the concerns that thousands of African Americans have taken to the streets to express every time another one of us dies needlessly at the hands of the police, or in police custody?
It didn’t take long to get an answer. Media weren’t allowed into Trump’s town hall, but someone in the room managed to get out a tweet that offered the first clue. Trump’s campaign somehow managed to fill the predominantly black New Spirit Revival Center with white people.
Except, stop-and-frisk didn’t work “incredibly well” in New York. Out of four million stop-and-frisk searches, only one in ten resulted in criminal charges. Eighty-one percent of those charges were black or Latino, and it was difficult to find black or Latino young men who hadn’t been stopped multiple times. Yet, while crime decreased in New York during that time, it was more likely due to the winding down of the 1980s crack epidemic, and the rise in the prison population due to drug laws.
FOX AND FRIENDS: will you explain what that is to my folks down in South Carolina that don’t really deal with stop and frisk? What exactly is it and what are the pros and cons?
TRUMP: Well, there are different levels. and you have somebody coming up who is the expert on it but basically they will—if they see, you know, they are proactive and if they see a person possibly with a gun or they think may have a gun, they will see the person and they will look and they will take the gun away. They will stop, they will frisk, and they will take the gun away and they won’t have anything to shoot with. I mean, how it’s not being used in Chicago is—to be honest with you, it’s a quite unbelievable, and you know the police, the local police, they know who has a gun, who shouldn’t be having a gun. They understand that.
So far, Donald Trump has promised that as president he will put more police African American communities, given them military weapons again, and empower them to "counter attack. Now, he’s promised that even more black and Latino men across the country will be stopped by police armed with military weapons and impunity.
Does anyone still need to ask what we have to lose if Trump is elected?