Trump’s four-year mantra to Black voters, people like me, has been “what do you have to lose?” He has proclaimed it loudly since the summer of 2016 to all who will listen. Trump has stepped up that refrain in recent months saying, “I have done more for Black Americans than any President, maybe with the exception of Abraham Lincoln.”
What about old Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson to name a few? Each of those presidents dramatically expanded opportunity and freedom for African Americans in ways Trump couldn’t imagine (he might have to read a book). More than that, in his efforts to attract Black support, Trump has assailed “Democratic run” cities as hotbeds of crime, joblessness, and mayhem. And challenged Black voters to give him a shot. After all, what do we have to lose?
The problem for Trump is this: He has spent the last four years grimly answering that question. His Cabinet is the first clue about who Donald J. Trump is. His overwhelmingly male, white, wealthy Cabinet is the least diverse in recent presidential history, since Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s. With just three people of color, and four women, including the CIA Director. Most damaging and last, Trump has appointed over 200 judges to the federal bench with less than 10% being of color. And the majority of the minority judges are Asian, not Black or Latino. Trump is the first president in decades to not nominate a Black judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals.