President Trump Begins Convention by boasting of his Black Achivements

President Trumps he had done more for Black Americans since Lincoln (Photo Credit CNBC)

President Donald Trump launched the Republican National Convention Monday with a laundry list of claims on how he has made American great again — especially for Black Americans. Much of his nearly hour long meandering over issues concerning African American well-being was sound and fury signifying nothing.

Among the most egregious of Trump pronouncements from Charlotte, North Carolina where a portion of the convention is be held are the achievement he touts about changing the climate of Black American since elected in 2016.

Of his promoted reforms on criminal justice Trump said: “It was us, us, together that criminal justice reform done. The greatest thing for the black community. African American community.They came and said ‘we can’t believe it, Obama didn’t even try…,’ ” said Trump.

As part of what seemed to be Trump auto-streaming he added this about his support of black educational achievement: “I got funded the historically black colleges and universities. I got that…I got them funded. They weren’t funded. They were year to year. They didn’t know if they were going to be around for another year. They’d come into the White House and after three years I’d say ‘Why do guys keep coming back?’ Well it’s a year to year deal. I said that’s not fair…and we got them long-term financing…and long-term funding. Nobody has done more for the historically black colleges and universities than Donald Trump. Nobody. Nobody’s done more for the African American community…No president has done as … much, since I mean since Abraham Lincoln. It’s true.”

To things need to be corrected about the last part of the quote where Trump references black colleges and his benefactor status for African Americans.

First, if there is truth to his claims about supporting black colleges why it it a matter to gush over against other essential projects that need attending to in Black America. Surely, the disproportionate death rate among Black Americans is a daily pressing issue. So is poverty and unemployment rates.

Second Trump’s claims that his presidency has helped Black Americans since Lincoln reeks of odious paternalism. The suggestion is that he and Lincoln are responsible for black agency and their relative plight of freedom and autonomy. The subconscious subtext of Trump’s remark is that Black American remain — even during his presidency — as subjects unable to foster their independence and civic autonomy. From his perspective African American are the victims of the vicissitudes of American life and incapable of making social progress without the helping hand of white leadership.

This is clearly not the case and is representative of how Trump believes Back Americans are some how inferior to whites.

If this is the tenor that Trump is setting for the republican’s convention it will do little to convince Americans that his party is a refuge for the Black Americans. His stance on race are deplorable. They have been since his days in New York City. His racial attitude were fostered at a different time in the nation when anti-black sentiment was acceptable or tolerate by white. The nation has slowly changed. Trump has not.

Kevin Peterson is founder of the New Democracy Coalition and Convener of the Fanueil Hall Race and Reconciliation Project. He is a social and cultural critic.

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