Black Democratic lawmakers are denouncing Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE as a racist, accusing his campaign of courting white supremacists.
The GOP nominee’s efforts at minority outreach have infuriated Democratic members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), who on Tuesday convened a conference call to accuse Trump of perpetuating stereotypes and using coded language meant to get white racists to the polls.
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) called Trump “one of the most racist, sexist and bigoted candidates” to run for president in modern history, and accused him of holding a “kinship with white supremacists.”
“He knows the audience he’s trying to reach out to and it’s not African-Americans,” Meeks said. “He’s trying to appeal to David Duke and the racists of the world with what they think are stereotypes. … He’s trying to appeal to the worst of the white supremacists and others he’s been catering to in the campaign to try and help them with turnout.”
Over the past week, Trump has made direct appeals to the black community, making the case that liberal policies have failed them and urging them to cut ties with the Democratic Party.
But Trump’s rhetoric has attracted criticism.
He has described inner cities as “war zones” in which black people live in constant fear of getting shot. And he has described the plights of black Americans as defined by poverty, poor education and few employment prospects.
That has infuriated liberals, who have accused Trump of trading in racist stereotypes.
CBC Chairman G.K. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth ButterfieldHouse Democrats push to introduce John Lewis voting rights bill within weeks Black Caucus presses Democratic leaders to expedite action on voting rights Democratic clamor grows for select committee on Jan. 6 attack MORE (D-N.C.) said Trump’s pitches to black voters are delivered at mostly white campaign rallies, and called the outreach effort “a slap in the face” to the black community.
“If Donald Trump truly cared about African-Americans, he’d disavow his long history of hateful and racist attacks against our community, he’d apologize for having discriminated against black families … he’d disavow his support for white supremacists and white supremacy,” Butterfield said.
Trump’s outreach to minority voters has given Democrats an excuse to dredge up some of the most controversial aspects of his business record and his statements on the campaign trail.
The Democrats on Tuesday’s call argued that Trump has a long history of promoting discriminatory housing practices as a real estate investor and of exploiting minority workers as a builder.
They pointed out that the billionaire launched his campaign by describing illegal immigrants as “rapists,” said he was slow to disavow the endorsement of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, questioned the partiality of a judge with Mexican heritage and fanned conspiracies around President Obama’s birthplace.
The Democrats say Trump has sent their minority voter-registration efforts into overdrive and they predict they’ll set records among black and Hispanic voters turning out to vote for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE in the fall.
“Donald Trump is a voter registration machine and a citizenship-advocating engine,” said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.).
“This is a little bit of thank you, because our community has never been so united or energized since that moment you set foot in national arena.”