President Donald Trump has recently made many strong, if bizarre assertions that he is the best candidate for Black voters this election. While most people have met Trump’s claims with skepticism (if not outrage and/or laughter), the president does have one defender for his claims: White House Senior Advisor and Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who then became the subject of some major social media backlash on Monday.
After speaking at length about his recent joint project with rapper Ice Cube and a proposed “platinum plan” for the Black community during a Fox & Friends interview, Kushner declared that the Black community needs to “want” success for Trump’s policies to work for them.
“President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about,” Kushner said. “But, he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.” He then confidently said that Trump is receiving a “groundswell of support in the Black community” because they’re realizing that “what the Democrats and media have said [about Trump] is not true.”
Jared Kushner on the Black community: “President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about, but he can’t want them to be successful more than that they want to be successful.” pic.twitter.com/SX9vWiAfag— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 26, 2020
Kushner’s woefully misguided thought process comes less than a week after Trump claimed that he’s “done more for the African American community than any president with the exception of Abraham Lincoln.”
But Trump’s — and now Kushner’s — assertions about helping the “Black community,” speaking about this group of Americans as if they are a monolith, is completely devoid of any reality. Instead, Kushner’s comments are more reflective of the condescension of the Republican party at-large, with the suggestion that Black people need to “want to be successful” for their “troubles” to be over, thus blaming them for their own oppression at the hands of white supremacy.
Other Republicans have also doubled-down on the idea that Trump is “doing the most” for Black Americans. Shortly after the backlash against Kushner began, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement: “It’s disgusting to see internet trolls taking Senior Advisor Jared Kushner out of context as they try to distract from President Trump’s undeniable record of accomplishment for the Black community.” She then went on to list “criminal justice reform and record HBCU funding to record low Black unemployment and record high income increases” as ways he has “helped.”
U.S Sen. Tim Scott, the only Black Republican senator, has also said that he’s “encouraged that we will see an increased number of African Americans voting for the president and the Republican ticket” in the upcoming election — a stance the South Carolina senator took after sharing his family’s “Cotton to Congress” story at the RNC and saying that the “supporting the Republican ticket gives you the best chance of making [the American Dream] a reality.” That remains to be seen, perhaps, but all national polling has indicated that Trump has incredibly limited support among Black voters, with Biden leading Trump with Black voters by 81 percentage points.
This is no coincidence: Trump is perhaps the most dangerous president ever to the Black community. Not only has he condemned the entire Black Lives Matter movement, calling it a “symbol of hate,” and supported police in the face of mass brutality against marginalized communities, but he’s done so with ease and no regard for the lives impacted by those choices.
Kushner can spew pro-Trump propaganda as much as he wants, but an administration overwhelmingly supported by white supremacists is never going to be good for the Black community.
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