I think Donald Trump is the embodiment of Isaac Newton’s third law of motion.
Newton’s law states that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
During last year’s presidential campaign, when Trump said he wanted to win over the Black community, the Democrats said he was crazy and so did a lot of Republicans.
He went to a Black church that was run by a left-leaning pastor in Detroit and it was a disaster; Trump was rightfully ridiculed.
In terms of Black delegates, Trump had one of the whitest Republican National Conventions in recent history; he was roundly criticized for that, too.
For every one of Trump’s actions designed to woo the Black community, there was an equal and opposite reaction. Every time he tried to gain favor within the Black community, his actions pushed them further away.
In a bizarre way, he shifted the tectonic plates of politics like I have never seen before. He shifted the conversation from, “Will he get any Black votes?” to “How many Black votes will he get?” In advertising and public relations, it usually takes lots of time and millions of dollars to create that type of tectonic movement.
Trump caused that shift by the sheer force of his personality. Anyone involved in communications and political strategy couldn’t do anything, but marvel at his skill in this regard.
Trump ultimately received only eight percent of the Black vote, which doubled Mitt Romney’s four percent in 2012, but it was still horrible. Republicans typically average 10 percent of the Black vote in presidential years.
Trump was further ridiculed over his lack of support from the Black community by the liberal media and the Democratic Party; many Republicans went on to say, “I told you so” with apparent glee.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Newton’s third law was still in full effect when Trump became president in January.
He surrounded himself with Black Democrats in the White House; Black Republicans were furious, but they were too weak and afraid to do anything about it.
Trump’s staffers organized an extremely weak Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration and Black History Month event; the activities were totally offensive to Blacks, especially Black Republicans.
Finally, staffers totally mishandled Trump’s meeting with the heads of the Black colleges and universities.
Trump staffers were trying to increase their standing within the Black community; but the more they tried, the more Blacks were repulsed and repelled.
For any political activity, especially with a sitting president, there always must be a minimum of two phases: an “awareness” phase and then a “call to action.”
The awareness phase is the who, what, when, where, and why of an activity. Then, during the second phase, there must always be a call to action at the end of the activity. Now that they have met with the president, what is the tangible task for each attendee and when must it be completed?
I challenge you to find these two phases with any activity Trump and his staff has undertaken within the Black community. They don’t exist.
Trump still has a small opening to cultivate better relations with the Black community, but not if he and his staff continue to proceed with such incompetence.
The Black community is open to a substantive engagement; but so far, there has been no substance and very little engagement. Trump has absolutely no one around him who is capable of properly engaging the Black community. And I mean no one.
If he decides to surround himself with “real” Blacks, especially Republicans, who have credibility and know how in regards to the Black community, Trump could definitely do more for Blacks than anything Obama did, which is an extremely low bar.
Some have asked me, “Raynard, why are you so critical of Trump and the Republican Party?” Well, the answer is very simple: “Because I give a damn!”
Have you ever watched your favorite sports team on TV and they’re having a terrible game? You sit and scream at the top of your lungs extolling them; all the while knowing that they can’t hear you. But you are such a loyal fan and totally invested in your team emotionally that you scream anyway; this is your only way voicing your frustration, because you want and expect your team to win every game.
My columns are my way of screaming at the TV, while my party is playing their game. But in my case, the party can and does hear me, they just choose not to respond in any meaningful way.
I am their biggest fan, therefore I criticize them when they are playing poorly.