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Trump Campaign Plans Black Outreach Amid Racist Attacks and Flat Black Unemployment

Trump Says African American Community Called to Thank Him For Baltimore attacks

President Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign is making news by reportedly preparing an outreach to black voters that will encourage them to ignore Trump’s escalating racist attacks, and focus on things like the black unemployment rate — which has been flat for two months.

Trump has spent the last several weeks escalating from the racist attack in which he told four minority women in Congress — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) — to “go back” to their own countries. But according to Politico, the Trump campaign is quietly putting together an effort to peel off some black voters.

“The campaign’s pitch to African Americans is simple: Ignore the president’s words and instead focus on his policies, like the state of the economy and the low unemployment rate, the passage of criminal justice reform or the creation of Opportunity Zones, which are meant to bolster investment in underserved or poorer cities,” the report says.

On the first point, former Trump transition official Ken Blackwell said of Trump’s overtly racist attacks that “some of his verbal formulations are in artful,” which is a slight movement from Blackwell’s assessment of Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks, which he called “allegedly inartful” at the time.

The latter point may be complicated by several facts, the first being that the overwhelming share of the reduction in black unemployment took place under President Barack Obama, going from a high of 17.3 percent to 7.9 percent during his last month in office. In July, the black unemployment rate was 6 percent, unchanged from June and just .2 percent lower than May.

And as Politico points out, wage and wealth disparities for black Americans persist. On the other hand, the bar for success is low; Blackwell estimates that an increase to just 12 percent black support could significantly help re-elect Trump.

The effort to court black voters will be headed by Katrina Pierson, and is expected to roll out after Labor Day.

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